MiraCosta grants its first LGBTQ scholarship

North Coast Current

A student club’s effort to launch a scholarship for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their supporters at MiraCosta College recently reached fruition with its first award, the college announced Aug. 4.

koch-geoffrey-2014-colorMiraCosta student Geoffrey Koch received the $1,000 award after filling out an application for the scholarship, one of the first of its kind among community colleges, according to a MiraCosta news release. The scholarship is available to current students who identify as a member, or a supporter, of the LGBTQ community.

The push to create the scholarship began two years ago with the campus’s Gay Straight Alliance, the Oceanside-based college reported.

“I’m really flattered to be awarded this scholarship, but I think it’s even more awesome that the GSA Alliance has gotten to the point where it can do this,” Koch said in the college’s announcement.

Koch, 28, enrolled at MiraCosta College in fall 2013 and plans to work in the field of sustainable agriculture, the college stated.

“MiraCosta College has a long history of promoting diversity on campus, and this is a continuation of that tradition,” Steven Deineh, an instruction librarian who is director of the North County Higher Education Alliance and faculty co-adviser to the college’s Gay Straight Alliance, said in the announcement.

The club reached a fundraising goal of $25,000 with the aim of offering a scholarship in perpetuity through the MiraCosta College Foundation. That amount jumped to $29,000 after an April fundraiser, the college reported.