By Chip Larouche, National VP of Planning & Development
The JACL Scholarship Program has had another great year! In this special issue of the Pacific Citizen, the JACL is pleased to award a total of $67,500 to the 28 most deserving applicants in their respective categories. With so many well-qualified students, the future of the JACL and its upcoming young leaders is certainly in good hands!
This year, the student applicants were asked for their personal thoughts on JACL’s transition from a historically Japanese American organization, rooted in advocating for Japanese Americans, to an organization equally focused and inclusive of our non-Japanese American members.
As you read their responses on the following pages, I believe you will find their answers to be quite refreshing, enlightening and some, perhaps, surprising.
On behalf of the National JACL, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Patty Wada, whose dedicated work as the Scholarship Program Manager keeps everything ethically sound and fair and the program running smoothly. Patty works tirelessly to coordinate the two scholarship committees and effortlessly handles the paperwork for more than 100 applicants, all the while fielding numerous questions and researching the correct answers for all of these individuals and parties, including me.
This year was again challenging given the number of well-qualified applicants. As always, our goal is to reward as many of our scholars and future leaders as possible. I also want to thank the Eastern District Council and the San Diego Chapter for serving as the 2014 National Selection Committees. This was the Eastern District’s second year as a selection committee, and I’d like to personally thank the members of the committee: Linda Adams, Michelle Amano (co-chair), Scott Nakamura, Kenneth A. Oye (co-chair), Roger Ozaki and Kaz Uyehara for the great job they did. This was the San Diego Chapter’s first year as the freshman selection committee, and my thanks go to Chair Carol Kawamoto, along with committee members Susie Iguchi, David Kawamoto and Sidney Shiroma. We are very appreciative of the difficult and diligent work and great care that goes into reviewing all of the applications that are part of this program and the ongoing JACL tradition of acknowledging our young leaders and scholars with scholarship support for their higher education.
I am thrilled that the JACL Scholarship Program continues to be so successful. We will soon begin the 2015 application process to recognize the next group of outstanding student leaders. As we wrap up the 2014 scholarship season, please join me in congratulating all of our award recipients.
Originally published on September 19, 2014