Berkeley JACL Awards Scholarships and Honors Pioneer Recipient Lee Nakamura

May 18, 2018 • Feature, Homepage Feature, In-depth, JACL, News

The Berkeley JACL held its awards luncheon on April 29 to recognize its scholarship recipients and Pioneer Award honoree. Seated from left are Maya Kashima, Sydney Wong, Luka Uchiyama, Alyssa Cho and Kailee Nabeta. Standing from left are Ron Tanaka, Lee Nakamura, Jared Akiyama, Alexander Tsuetaki and Reiko Nabeta. (Photo: Eric Kawamura)

The Berkeley JACL chapter awarded scholarships to six high school seniors, one college undergraduate and presented its Pioneer Award to Lee “Cubby” Nakamura during its awards luncheon held at the Richmond Country Club in Richmond, Calif., on April 29.

The chapter awarded scholarships to the high school seniors based upon their academic achievements, community involvement, school activities, work history, JACL involvement, written essay, letter of recommendation and group interview.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Ryan Akiyama (Berkeley High School) will attend San Francisco State University and major in journalism.

Alyssa Cho (El Cerrito High School) will attend Dominican University of California as an occupational therapy major.

Kailee Nabeta (Rio Americano High School — Sacramento) will attend Boise State University as a kinesiology major; she is also the recipient of the Terry Yamashita Memorial Scholarship.

Alexander Tsuetaki (Durham Academy — North Carolina) will attend Tufts University as a computer science/science technology and society major; he is also the recipient of the Dan/Kathleen Date Memorial Scholarship.

Luka Uchiyama (Castro Valley High School) will attend California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and major in bioresource and agricultural engineering; he is also the recipient of the Bea Kono Memorial Scholarship.

Sydney Wong (El Cerrito High School) will attend San Jose State University and major in graphic design.

The chapter also awarded a college undergraduate scholarship to Maya Kashima, who is   currently attending Berkeley City College. Kashima is set to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall as a media studies major.

In addition to awarding its scholarship recipients, Berkeley JACL recognized Lee “Cubby” Nakamura, co-owner of the Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley, Calif., with its Pioneer Award. This award honors those with the vision, compassion and energy to lay a foundation for building the Japanese American community into the active and vibrant one we share today, as well as linking past leaders with our future leaders.

During the luncheon festivities, the chapter also recognized longtime major sponsors Union Bank (Dimitry Bokman) and the following memorial scholarship donors: the Beatrice Kono family (George Kono), the Terry Yamashita family (Reiko Nabeta) and the Dan/Kathleen Date family (Gail Yamamoto).

This year’s scholarship committee was comprised of Alix Ching, Mark Fujikawa, Tiffany Ikeda, Vera Kawamura, Neal Ouye, Al Satake, Sharron Sue and Ron Tanaka (chair).

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