College-Bound ‘Super Six' Make Compton School History

As the Manuel Dominguez High Class of 2016 prepares to graduate, there's a group of seniors at the Compton school who are making history.

"I think we all have the ambitious and know-what-we-want trait," said UCLA-bound Jannet Gomez.

That trait, and their hard work, has not only earned them acceptance into highly competitive University of California campuses, but also a first-of-its-kind honor. Known around campus as the Super Six, the group includes two valedictorians and four salutatorians -- and they've all been friends throughout most of their young lives.

"We've been able to succeed because we're always going to each other for help," said UC Merced-bound Elizabeth Perez Gayosso.

Their success is all the more impressive considering less than 20 percent of their graduating class will go on to a 4 year college.

"We were having a debate (about) how many AP classes we should take. Some of us wanted to take one or two, one of us wanted three, so we're all taking three,” said UCLA-bound Yenifer Espitia.

But they admit, it hasn't always been easy.

"When one of us would slack off, we would say ‘no, you need to get it together,’ and Yenifer would always tell me ‘you're not getting a B, you're getting an A even if I have to help you,’” said UC Irvine-bound Nancy Rivas.

All are first generation Americans and all credit their immigrant parents with instilling a respect for higher education and a determination to succeed.

"They always tell me ‘we came here because we want a better education for you,’ so they didn't come here for a future for themselves but for us and I think that's what pushes me more," Jannet Gomez said.

Kimberly Fernandez, who will attend UCLA in the fall, agreed.

"My mom graduated high school but she wasn't able to go to college and that was her biggest regret because she wanted to, so for me going to college it's like for her and my accomplishments," she said.

Daina Espinoza, who is headed to UC Irvine in the fall, rounds out the group of high achievers.

They also hope their accomplishments will inspire other inner city kids, while proving good things do come out of Compton.

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