Feb. 11, 2016 | Questbridge Scholar

More than 75% of Quest scholars are among the first generation in their family to attend college, and they're also in the top 5% of their graduating class. The Quest scholarship totals $280,000 over four years. It covers all aspects of an academic career, including tuition; books and supplies; personal expenses; room and board; travel; and federal work-study.

Over 13,000 students applied this year, and roughly 600 were chosen nationwide. POLAHS senior Jaida Nabayan received one of those prestigious scholarships. Next fall she will study Political Science at University of Chicago, Class of 2020.

Jaida has earned a 4.2 GPA and is ranked #4 in her senior class. She was identified as an AP Scholar with Distinction by College Board and has been recognized by the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) for the past three years. Jaida is Treasurer of ASB and POLAHS’ Science Olympiad team. She is Captain of Varsity Volleyball and has worked with Journalism and Yearbook. Her extensive volunteering includes work at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium; Train-4-Autism; South Shores Elementary School; and San Pedro High School. You might remember her name from the UCI iMedEd Technology Innovation Program, where she created a healthcare iBook on Alzheimer's Dementia in Down Syndrome for Families and Caregivers.

Jaida works hard, but her huge smile shows that she’s enjoying every part of high school! She was voted “Most Likely to Crack a Joke” by her 12th grade peers. Jaida is looking forward to the feeling of independence while living in Chicago, and meeting nice people in the Midwest.
“One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome when applying for the Questbridge scholarship program was being open in my writing,” she says. “Despite various challenges in my life, I keep a light-hearted attitude. I didn’t like writing about my personal life and I had to think of different ways to answer prompts that would provoke a deep, emotional feeling." Some of her POLAHS teachers and the College Counselors helped her with that task. “The faculty is there for you no matter what, and that support in high school is amazing.”
Jaida – we can’t wait to see what you do next! Congratulations!