OCEANSIDE — Every year, more than a thousand community college students from all over the country apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. The Undergraduate Scholarship helps transfer students cover the final two or three years necessary to earn a bachelor’s degrees. From this year’s pool of 1,200 applicants from 35 states, five MiraCosta students were selected as semi-finalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship including Alma Cuevas, Inayah Abdulmateen, Andreena Lamey, John Siebelink and Negar Farahbakhsh.
A first-generation college student, Alma Cuevas hopes to be a resource for her younger siblings when they reach college. Majoring in administration of justice, Cuevas plans to transfer to the University of California, Irvine, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer and eventually a Supreme Court justice. Cuevas is currently a member of the Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, and is a student trustee for the Associated Student Government (ASG). In addition, Cuevas presented a project on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy at MiraCosta’s OMNI Student Research Showcase last fall.
A self-described average student in high school, Inayah Abdulmateen is one of the most active and engaged members of the MiraCosta College community. In addition to serving as a Student Ambassador for the college and director of legislative affairs for the ASG, Abdulmateen is co-president of the Black Student Union. Inayah has continued to pave her path toward success. In addition to her roles for the Black Student Union and ASG, she was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and currently serves as the co-college project coordinator. She is also an award-winning author after winning a gold medal for her original essay on Islam in America for the NAACP Local Act-So Competition. She plans to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees before becoming a lawyer.
Andreena Lamey has always had a passion for helping people. Before attending MiraCosta in 2019, she received her license to be a Certified Phlebotomy Technician to see if she liked working in the medical field. Now, Lamey will continue her nursing education at Loma Linda University with plans to become a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The mother of two has served as the president of the Intramural Sports Club and the president of Disciples of the Word, a Christian club on campus. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors Program. Outside of MiraCosta, Lamey is also involved in SOLVIT Recovery as a sponsor, helping people improve their lives.
John Siebelink is a first-generation college student and a military veteran majoring in English at MiraCosta. Siebelink hopes to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles, and plans to apply to a doctoral program after completing his undergraduate studies. After getting his doctorate, he plans to stay in higher education and become a professor of English. His career goals are influenced by his job as a writing consultant at MiraCosta’s Writing Center.
Apart from being a writing consultant, Siebelink is very present on campus, participating in multiple organizations. Currently, he is the president of Phi Theta Kappa and is the executive vice president of the ASG. In addition, Siebelink started and is the president of the Creative Writing Club on campus. Siebelink feels honored to represent MiraCosta as a semi-finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.
Negar Farahbakhsh is a well-rounded student, majoring in biology at MiraCosta. Farahbakhsh plans to transfer to California State University, San Marcos, to complete her bachelor’s degree in biology before attending dental school. She was inspired to pursue dentistry because of her passion for socializing and working with her hands. Farahbakhsh believes that it’s the perfect combination of communicating with people and working on something like an artist.
On campus, Farahbakhsh is a writing consultant at the Writing Center and works at the Biotechnology Lab. In addition, she is the executive vice president of Phi Theta Kappa.
The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipients will be announced in early May.