Pearson is very quiet, but highly thoughtful and determined.  He has demonstrated strong research skills and a commitment to excellence.

Annie Whatley
Deputy Director, Office of Minority Education and Community Development
Portrait of Alton "Pearson" Benson

Hello! I’m Alton “Pearson” Benson. I have greatly enjoyed my time with the Office of Minority Education and Community Development. The lessons in professionalism and serving underrepresented communities will greatly benefit my career.

I am entering my sophomore year as a Marketing and Economics major and Leadership Studies minor at Hampton University. I play lacrosse for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Hampton Pirates.

I have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to leadership and public service. My leadership began at Westlake High School where I served as the president of my junior and senior class. During my junior year, I was selected by the 30,000 students of Charles County to represent them as the Student Member on the Charles County Board of Education. I was active in the student government where I planned events such as homecoming, the annual “Battle of the Classes,” and the student-teacher basketball game.  I was also Vice President of the Key Club, leading events such as roadside cleanups, reading to elementary school students, and presenting at the annual Kiwanis Club dinner. I was the captain of the Westlake High School football and lacrosse teams.

While in high school, I was a Maryland General Assembly Page, where I provided administrative support for delegates. I was also a student leadership coordinator for the Maryland Association of State Council (MASC). This involved training other student councils on project planning and advocacy. I am particularly proud to report that as State Charity Coordinator for MASC, I raised over $10,000 for Children’s National Medical Center.

I was selected for 3 consecutive years to join the Maryland delegation to the National Leadership and Development (LEAD) Conference. This conference included community service, professional networking and seminars on leadership and social justice. I was selected by the school administration to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar. We participated in community beautification projects and attended community-building seminars.

I also began work as a staff member for Maryland Leadership Workshops a nonprofit organization that develops leadership skills in middle and high school students. I continue this work today.

In 2015, I joined students from across the country to meet with leadership at the Department of Justice and discuss building relationships with law enforcement and authority. I spoke with then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about strategies law enforcement can utilize to make a positive contribution to struggling communities.

I am currently Dean’s List at Hampton University.  I serve as an executive officer for the Class of 2021. In this role I coordinate community service activities and fundraising events. I am also active with the Hampton University chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). On campus I plan events to promote social justice and equality. Additionally, I mentor middle school students with the Department of Juvenile Services in Howard County. In 2017, I worked as an intern in the congressional office of Congressman Steny Hoyer. In this capacity, I corresponded with constituents on issues such as veterans benefits, healthcare and school safety.

My interests are in public service and economic empowerment. I participate in the annual Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society and the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics. I lead fundraising efforts for Children’s National Medical Center, March of Dimes, and the Charles County Food Pantry.

My ultimate aspiration is to be a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for a Fortune 500 company. I also dream of founding a sports marketing firm that will allow me to give back to the global community. When I am not working, I enjoy playing lacrosse or reading autobiographies of successful business people.