Meet Laura Hayek

College can appear intimidating, especially for students who are the first in their families to pursue a degree. For some, the difference between graduating and dropping out is finding the peer-to-peer support that pushes students to carry on. 

At MiraCosta College, students can find a welcoming community thanks to the General Counseling team. Counselors provide support to students by helping them define their goals and achieve their educational objectives.

At MiraCosta College, students from nearly any background can find support and acceptance from a variety of campus organizations, including the recently created Arab, Middle-Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA+) organization. Created in part by counselors Laura Hayek and Afifa Zaman, AMEMSA+ is led by students, faculty, and staff committed to raising awareness of the cultures, issues and challenges faced by these communities from a diverse portion of the globe.

“Our goal is to increase visibility of these groups on campus, as well as create a safe space for our students," Hayek said. AMEMSA+ History and Heritage Month does just that. Through lectures, art, music, food and more, Hayek and Zaman strive to build community on campus, celebrate diverse cultures and dismantle the misconceptions and discrimination these communities and students face.

“We want to help students of all backgrounds know there is a space for them both on campus and in the community,” Hayek said.