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Berkeley JACL Awards Scholarship, Pioneer and Youth Leadership Awards

By May 5, 2023May 19th, 2023No Comments

Recognized by the Berkeley JACL are (seated, from left) Kaz Mori, Cynthia Lee, Nina Takahashi and Kaitlyn Yasumura and (standing, from left) Charlotte Sandford (representing Nicholas Sandford), Jennifer Doi and Rachel Hirota. Not pictured are Jacob Flores, Lindsey Kojima and Dani Yang. (Photo: Hach Yasumura)

The Berkeley JACL chapter awarded scholarships to four entering freshman students, two college undergraduates, honored its accomplished Pioneer award recipient and recognized its Youth Leadership recipient during its April 30 awards event held at the Richmond Country Club in Richmond, Calif. Scholarships were awarded to four high school seniors. This year’s recipients are:

  • Jacob Flores (Castle HS, Kaneohe, Hawaii) will attend Oregon State University as a business administration major. He is the recipient of the George/Yoshimi Nakamura memorial scholarship.
  • Cynthia Lee (Castro Valley HS, Castro Valley, Calif.) will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as an environmental science major. She is the recipient of the Terry Yamashita memorial scholarship.
  • Nicholas Sandford (Head Royce School, Oakland, Calif.) will attend George Washington University or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as an international relations major. He is the recipient of the Bea Kono memorial scholarship.
  • Kaitlyn Yasumura (Carondelet HS, Concord, Calif.) will attend Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., as an undeclared major, with a premed interest. She is the recipient of the Dan/Kathleen Date memorial scholarship.

In addition, the chapter awarded scholarships to two college undergraduates attending an accredited institution of higher learning located in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties. This year’s recipients are:

  • Lindsey Kojima, a junior at the University of California, Berkeley, is a nutritional sciences major. She is from Culver City, Calif., and graduated from Culver City High School in 2020.
  • Nina Takahashi is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in film and Japanese. She is from Beaverton, Ore., and is a 2022 graduate of Southridge High School.

Berkeley JACL also presented Kaz Mori, one of the first Japanese American high school principals in the East Bay area, with the chapter’s Pioneer Award, which honors those with the vision, compassion and energy to lay a foundation for building a strong Japanese American community and nurturing future leaders. 

And Danielle Yuki Yang was presented the chapter’s Youth Leadership Award for serving as UC Berkeley’s Nikkei Student Representative (NSU) to the Berkeley JACL chapter to plan the annual Day of Remembrance and NSU visits to incarceration camps. Yang also served as the editor of the chapter digital newsletter, the “Berkeley Blast.”

Among the event’s speakers, Jennifer Doi, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley and is a 2023 National JACL Kakehashi Project participant, provided a program overview to the attendees.

The scholarship committee includes Ron Tanaka, chair; Mark Fujikawa, Vera Kawamura, Karen Kiyo Lowhurst, Ryan Matsuda, Mali McGuire, Neal Ouye and Al Satake.

— Berkeley JACL Chapter