Matthew Morris had two careers in mind when he started college: becoming an NBA player or an attorney. Raised in Compton by grandparents who were Compton College alums, Matthew grew up in a community he loved and like many young men, dreamed of playing pro basketball. Matthew had a plan, but when he needed a new direction, his community was there to build his confidence and steer him toward a successful career
Before Compton College, Matthew attended two community colleges that left him feeling unsupported by faculty, misguided by career advice, and socially outcast from fitting in. Between the rotating campuses and the stressful course semesters, Matthew was burned out and on the verge of quitting college altogether. That is, until his mother reminded Matthew of the unchartered territories a career education could take his future. Grounded and reinvigorated, Matthew enrolled in classes at Compton College full-time, received financial aid, and maintained solid grades that catapulted his success.
“For the first time in college, I had a 4.0 semester,” Matthew says. “I felt motivated to find a career path where I could earn more money and provide for my family.”
“I wanted to find a community college where I could play basketball with my brother and prepare for my future,” says Matthew who completed the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum in 2020, a series of courses offered at California community colleges to fulfill first- and second-year general education requirements to gain eligibility for transfer to a UC. Matthew went on to transfer to the University of California, Riverside, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs.
Compton College helped Matthew form meaningful relationships with faculty and staff that offered him accountability, respect, and support. With great pride in his community, Matthew discovered new classes that taught him about rap music and poetry where he analyzed lyrics, presented poetry every day, and learned different writing styles. Matthew met professors who encouraged him, applauded his success, and motivated him to rise to the next challenge.
“Compton College offered me a supportive environment where I could step out of my comfort zone and learn new things,” Matthew explains.
Earning the support of faculty and staff gave Matthew everything he needed to succeed, and for the first time in his college career, he believed he could.
Today, Matthew is a criminal and immigration attorney with his eyes set on opening his own firm. After that, he hopes to expand into politics and, one day, become the governor of California. Matthew wants students to know that Compton College is “the best-kept secret” to help them achieve their goals.
“If you want to win, you need to get an education,” Matthew says. “Even if you’re not sure how it can be done, Compton College can help you increase your opportunities for the future.”