COMMUNITY PROFILE: Channelview ISD student awarded Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship

Channelview High School Valedictorian Dewayne Benson
Channelview High School Valedictorian Dewayne Benson

May 14, 2020 — Channelview High School Valedictorian Dewayne Benson is among the 300 students in the country to receive the prestigious Gates Scholarship. This academic school year, 36,500 students applied, putting Benson in the less than 1 percent of students who were awarded the scholarship.

In addition to his academic achievements, Benson has also shown strength and perseverance following a bus accident in Alabama. In 2018, members of the Channelview High School (CHS) marching band were returning from a school trip in Florida when their charter bus plunged into a ravine.

“It’s insane to think how far I have come in high school – two years ago, I was stuck in the bottom of a ravine in the band bus crash,” Benson said. “Now, I am a Gates Scholar, valedictorian, and am graduating with a whole degree to my name.”

Benson also attended San Jacinto Community College and will be graduating high school with an associates degree. In order to be admitted into the San Jacinto Community College’s MECA program (Modified Early College Academy, the dual credit program that allows students to pursue their associates degree while still in high school) Benson took the College Board’s TSIA Accuplacer abilities test his sophomore year and earned a perfect score in all three sections.

The scholarship covers tuition, room, board, and books, to any accredited U.S. college of the student’s choice. Benson plans to attend the University of Texas in Austin to obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics. He will also pursue his master’s degree in computer science.

“This is an honor, an achievement, so difficult, so rare, that to have a second super-dude win… superlatives just will not do,” said Channelview High School College and Career Advisor Steven Shoemaker.

Benson is the second Gates Scholarship recipient from CHS, another student was awarded the scholarship in 2017.

“This distinguished honor is a testament to not only our incredibly intelligent and hardworking students, but to our educators who dedicate their lives to ensuring our students are successful,” said Superintendent Greg Ollis.