Re-entry Student Receives Carmen Solis Pratt Scholarship

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Media Contact: Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 653-7878 

The Honorable Dan Pratt and Benjamin Partida-SilvaNORWALK, Calif. – December 7, 2017 – The Cerritos College Foundation recently presented Benjamin Partida-Silva of Lynwood with the $1,800 Carmen Solis Pratt Scholarship.

Retired Norwalk Superior Court Judge Dan Pratt established the Carmen Solis Pratt Re-Entry Scholarship in 2001 in memory of his mother who valued education, but was never able to attend college herself.

Each year, a recipient is selected among applicants who are re-entry students at Cerritos College and are 35 years of age or older.

Benjamin Partida-Silva is a re-entry student majoring in computer science. He plans to earn a bachelor’s degree and work in the field of robotics or artificial intelligence that assists people with disabilities.

When he made the decision to return to school, he was unaware how difficult the path to a science degree would be. As a disabled student, he has encountered many obstacles, most of which were physical. He, however, has learned that if he works hard and applies himself, anything is attainable.

“I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Carmen Solis Pratt Scholarship,” said Benjamin. “One thing I hope to do with my computer science degree is to give back to others by developing software and hardware that aids people with disabilities.” 

About the Cerritos College Foundation: The Cerritos College Foundation, a non-profit organization, serves as a charitable vehicle for the community, individuals and alumni, to assist with financial support of Cerritos College beyond that which state funding supports. Visit the Foundation online at

About Cerritos College: Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at