MiraCosta College—which in 2014 became among the first community colleges in the nation to endow a scholarship dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students—has unveiled yet another scholarship for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Scholarship is the fourth endowed scholarship for LGBTQIA+ students and allies at MiraCosta College since the Gay Straight Alliance Club—now known as the Gender Sexuality Alliance Club—raised more than $25,000 to endow a GSA Club Scholarship in 2014.
Eligibility for the $1,000 Queer and Trans People of Color Scholarship includes having already completed at least six units, planning to continue at MiraCosta College or transfer to a four-year college or university, and identifying as a queer or transgender person of color or being an active ally to the QTPOC community.
“The intent of the scholarship is to engender conversations about and more awareness of the distinct needs and experiences of LGBT people of color,” said Steven Deineh, an instruction and student engagement librarian who noted the scholarship was successfully funded the same week as the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York. “LGBT people of color experience disproportionately high rates of unemployment, discrimination, and stark health disparities when compared to the overall U.S. population. Furthermore, in education, barriers of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity are compounded in ways that make it more difficult to access and be successful in higher education.”
“LGBT youth in general and youth of color in particular,” Deineh said, “are the most at-risk populations for homelessness.”
The Queer and Trans People of Color Scholarship carries on the momentum begun with the GSA Club Scholarship in 2014, the latter of which began two years prior when students with the Gay Straight Alliance were discussing a fundraiser. Deineh suggested the money raised from the fundraiser be used to fund a scholarship in perpetuity. By hitting their goal of $25,000, students succeeded in building an endowment through the MiraCosta College Foundation to fund a $1,000 annual award.
The GSA Club Scholarship was followed by the Joe Maak & Pride Resource Partners LLC Scholarship in 2016 and the Trans* Pride Scholarship the following year. The Trans* Pride Scholarship, a $1,000 award, was the first community college scholarship in the country dedicated to supporting the trans community. Almost immediately after the Trans* Pride Scholarship was endowed, the Gender Sexuality Alliance student club and its faculty advisors began working on the Trans People of Color Scholarship.
To date, a total of 21 students have secured one of the scholarships geared toward the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, including 13 who have been honored with the GSA Club Scholarship. In all, more than $110,000 has been committed to endowments supporting LGBTQIA+ student scholarships.
“We all are extremely proud of all the students, employees and community members who have donated so generously in support of sexual and gender minorities at MiraCosta College,” Deineh said.
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta Community College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 21,000 credit students per semester in over 70 disciplines enroll in associate degrees, university transfer and workforce readiness certificate programs. The college also serves a wide spectrum of educational needs in the region ranging from programs for adult education, basic skills, and ESL to a California Community College pilot program offering the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in biomanufacturing. MiraCosta College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).