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Meet Gabriel Simpson

As Gabriel Simpson stood in front of the room at MiraCosta College sharing his biomanufacturing pitch, it was hard to believe how much had changed in such little time.

Less than three years ago, Simpson was taking on odd jobs just to manage. He had recently moved back to San Diego after struggling in a university system where he felt unsupported, and the prospect of going back to school was far from a priority.

Then, one day, his mother told him about a new biotechnology certification program in the area. Despite the challenges at the previous university, she knew Simpson remained passionate about science and thought this would be a good opportunity for him to reengage in the field.

“By then, it had been a few years since I was in a classroom,” recalled Simpson. “It was definitely hard to get back into the groove, but I knew the certificate would open doors.”

Shortly after completing the program, Simpson received his first internship and soon set his sights on even greater ambitions—the MiraCosta College Biomanufacturing Program.

After having some success through the certification program, Simpson knew he was ready to continue in higher education and pursue his bachelor’s degree. The only problem was that his grades were not as strong as many of his peers.

“I actually started crying when filling out the MiraCosta College application,” shared Simpson. “I was looking at all the Fs on my transcript and felt hopeless.”

Nevertheless, Simpson filled out all his statements, completed the requirements, and submitted his application for review. Then the response came. Simpson’s application was declined for acceptance into the competitive bachelor’s degree program in biomanufacturing.

For many, that could have been the end of the story. But for Simpson, it was just another obstacle to overcome, and a prime example of what sets MiraCosta College apart from most.

The MiraCosta College staff recognized Simpson’s work ethic and passion for the sciences, and together worked to build a plan that would allow Simpson to join the Biomanufacturing Program the following semester.

“To this day, I still think back to my start at the previous university where no professors or staff took the time to help me. I felt so isolated. Here, the MiraCosta staff and professors encourage me and are invested in my success,” explained Simpson. “MiraCosta College provides an empowering education. That can make all the difference in the world for students like me. It can change the entire trajectory of someone’s life.”

Today, Gabriel and his mother frequently reflect on how much his life has changed in just a few years. He knows he still has a lot to do, but he recognizes that all his struggles have made his current successes that much more special. Something he will never forget as he completes his bachelor’s degree and begins his career in the local biotech industry.

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