Two Miramar College Students Named Semifinalists for Prestigious Transfer Scholarship Program

Two San Diego Miramar College students have been named as semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship that provides a tuition-free pathway to a four-year degree at a college or university of their choice.

James Nguyen and Namod Pallek Kankanamge of Miramar College are the latest of numerous San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) students who have been named national semifinalists over the years. The two were selected from more than 1,600 applicants attending 194 community colleges in 37 states, Washington, D.C. and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Finalists for the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship will be announced in May.

Meet this year’s Miramar College national semifinalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship:

Namod Pallek Kankanamge is a Miramar College standout who has served as student body president and student trustee on the SDCCD Board of Trustees and who describes himself as a passionate, first-generation student committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. “I grew up in Sri Lanka in a family of nine. When I first moved to the United States, attending college was only a dream – ‘The American Dream,’” said Pallak, who serves as a campus career ambassador. “Coming from underrepresented communities, I faced many adversities in my educational journey, from discrimination to living on the street. I decided to major in pre-law political science to become an advocate and make changes that will help more students like me.”

James Nguyen is a Miramar College scholar on track to earn an associate of science degree in earth science studies. He participated in the NASA Proposal Writing and Evaluation Experience Academy, serves in a City of San Diego internship program and volunteers at the San Diego Library. He wrote on his Linkedin profile that says his overarching objective is to ensure freedom of mobility for Americans, transcending barriers of race, income, and notably, automobile ownership. “I am determined to explore opportunities that will allow me to combine my skills and interests and make a meaningful impact in the American way of life.”

Seppy Basili, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s executive director, issued a statement praising all of this year’s national semifinalists. “In light of the challenges that hinder many community college students from achieving their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree, our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship makes the journey more achievable and helps to eliminate the threat of student debt. The exceptional pool of talent among this year’s chosen semifinalists from community colleges showcases the vast potential within these institutions and we look forward to learning more about these students during the final stage of our application review.” 



Jack Kent Cook semifinalists