Brenae, who plans to study computer science, is now considering attending schools including Norfolk State University in in Virginia, St. Augustine's University in North Carolina, Allen University in South Carolina, and California State University, Los Angeles.
After a difficult time at her former high school, Brenae transferred over to Centennial where she received the academic support needed to recover high school credits and was inspired to seek a college education by school counselor Sherrie Moore.
"When I first got here I was in danger of not graduating high school. I was 30 credits behind. Before I got to Centennial I wouldn't even show up to school for weeks," she said.
"Ms. Moore is super awesome. She made sure I got all my A through G requirements down. Without her help I couldn't have applied for college because she brought my confidence up."
Brenae did everything she could to make up for her missing credits. She earned community service credits and made up for missing credits for classes after school in the school's college and career center.
Now she's wrapping up her senior year of high school in classes like AP government and honors English.
"I've come a long way from where I was before. I got my grades up and I'm going to college now."
Brenae has a head start on her career aspirations. Just last year she took an introductory course in coding at Cerritos College.
"I'm fascinated with apps and websites. There's a motivational speaker at my church who showed off his website and YouTube channel and I immediately wanted to help him improve the look and feel of his sites."
Recently, Brenae lost her 18 year-old cousin Marlon Wells, also a Centennial Apache, to cerebral palsy. The loss has inspired her to use the technical skills she will gain in college for the greater good.
"Now that I've learned all about his illness, I want to use my computer science degree to spread awareness. You don't expect your cousin to pass away at this age," she said.
"I want to build websites and apps to raise awareness about different diseases and causes. I also thought about making websites to promote African-American culture."
Although she is a few years away from earning her college degree, Brenae is already making a difference in her community as a youth homeless outreach coordinator for her church, Church One in Long Beach.
"We've given them hygiene kits, fed them, and a clothing and shoes giveaway," she said.
Brenae said that as she learns new skills and gains new knowledge, she would like to hit the ground running by working freelance in college. She knows that her education will drive her success.
"I don't want anyone stopping me because I don't have a degree or the right one. With a degree, I have an advantage. I hope I can go all the way and earn a Doctorate's degree in computer science," she noted.
The youngest of three children, Brenae will follow in the college-going footsteps of her older brother Darryl, who is studying music business at Greenville College in Illinois, and her mother Jackie who is currently studying at Cerritos College.
"Because I didn't take school seriously for a long time, the moment my brother went to college he inspired my mom to go too, and then that inspired me," she said.
"I watched both them go through the college application process and get in. I knew I could do it too."
Now Brenae is well on her way.
"Education is so important because when you learn more, you can do more. It helps you figure out to readjust when things get tough, and not give up."