For the Superman fan, the reason lies in the teachers and staff who supported him on his way towards becoming the college-bound graduating senior he is today.
"So many of my teachers...my AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) teacher Mr. Higgins, my school counselor Ms. Cao -- they are some of the many people who kept me on the right track," said Fernando, who also attended Washington Elementary and Davis Middle School.
"Coming up through Compton schools, I can see the improvement taking place. I can see it now that my little brothers are in school too. I want to be a part of that progress later on as a board member."
In the meantime, Fernando is looking forward to possibly double majoring in economics and political science at UCLA. He's also been accepted to several schools including UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, CSULB, CSUN, and Clark Atlanta University.
Fernando's career aspirations include working in finance and starting his own business. With his future success in mind, he also dreams of funding more programs to encourage students to go to college.
"I want to help students through tutoring and college counseling. Anything to get students thinking about the next step...about their future," he said.
"By joining clubs like Education Talent Search (ETS), AVID, and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement) I had a lot of support from teachers and counselors to improve my academic performance, and get on the road to college. I want to add to those resources for future students."
For now, he's staying on course to maintain his 4.19 GPA while staying engaged in a variety of extracurricular activities as well as handling his responsibilities as his school's ASB president.
"Last year I was the vice president of my junior class. I liked planning activities for the school, so I wanted to do that as ASB president. It's a great way to give back to Centennial. I have organized student-led campus clean ups and helped boost school pride."
As a product of Compton schools, Fernando knows he is setting an example for others to succeed no matter where they come from. He credits role models like his older sister for inspiring him to pursue a college education.
"I want my younger siblings to do as well, if not better, than I have. My older sister Kandie influenced me to do my best. She's now majoring in sociology at Cal State Long Beach," he said.
"I want to show others that hard work does pay off...that getting a good education is the best way to giving yourself a better life. With an education you can do anything and go anywhere."
That sounds a lot like Superman.