Compton College honors top scholars at awards ceremony

Wave Staff Report 

COMPTON — Compton College held its annual Academic and Scholarship Awards Ceremony May 30, recognizing the academic achievements of 323 honors students (3.5 or higher grade point average), five presidential scholars and 34 scholarship recipients. Scholarships awarded to the students totaled $42,000.

The 2024 presidential scholars are Alexis Camacho, Carla Galindo, Shernedra Kelly, Triana Perez-Ayon, and Nicole Salazar. Presidential scholars represent students who have shown academic strength, singular focus and the desire to reach their highest potential while overcoming obstacles in the pursuit of their dreams. 

The presidential scholar program recognizes students who are graduating with a 3.7-grade point average or higher. Each presidential scholar received a check for $2,000 and a medallion. 

Camacho is an art major who will transfer to Cal State Dominguez Hills in the fall. While at Compton College, Camacho co-founded and served as vice president of the LBGTQ+ Club on campus, displayed artwork in the college’s Art Gallery, published artwork in the college’s “Voices of Compton” annual literary and art journal, and took first place in the library’s bookmark design contest.

Galindo is a business administration major who will graduate from Compton College with three associate degrees. She plans to continue her higher education and is interested in entrepreneurship and the technology field as possible career pursuits. While at Compton College, she participated in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, the College Corps program, and completed a 12-week internship through the Business and Entrepreneurship Academy in partnership with LATech.org and Vika Ventures.

Kelly represents the third generation in her family to attend Compton College, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. Kelly is a non-traditional student and single mother who earned an associate degree in nursing while also working part-time. She plans to continue her education at a four-year university and become a registered nurse.

Perez-Ayon is a dual-enrolled student who simultaneously earned both her high school diploma from Compton Early College High School and two associate degrees from Compton College. She is also the valedictorian of her high school class. After overcoming some personal hardships during her teens, Perez-Ayon was accepted to nine four-year universities, including UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Salazar also attended Compton College as a dual-enrolled student during her senior year of high school. She has been accepted to the Compton College nursing program beginning in the fall. She has participated in the College Corp program since 2023 and worked at the student food pantry on campus. She completed her general education courses early, freeing up time to take some nursing prerequisites and apply for graduation ahead of schedule.

“In addition to offering state and federal financial aid that many students are eligible to receive, the Foundation for the Compton Community College District annually awards scholarships to students to help finance college attendance,” said Barbara Calhoun, president of the Compton Community College District Board of Trustees. “In the past five years, the foundation has awarded more than $180,000 in scholarships to Compton College students. We encourage all students to apply for scholarships during their first year at Compton College.”

Compton College offers scholarships to students across all academic disciplines and 24 categories, including students working toward a certificate in career education programs, Dream Act students, Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition program participants, first-generation students, women re-entering college, and more.

 Students who are already receiving benefits through the state-funded Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education) programs may also apply for a scholarship.

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