The chapter acknowledges four Sacramento-area high school seniors.
The Florin JACL chapter is pleased to announce its 2022 scholarship award honorees. This year’s recipients are outstanding seniors attending Sacramento-area high schools. Each applicant was judged on achievements in academic and scholastic honors, extracurricular activities — including leadership positions, community service, work history, Japanese cultural activities and JACL involvement —letter of recommendation and a personal interview. Congratulations to the following award recipients.
JARED DEGUZMAN, the son of Cindy and Victor DeGuzman, will graduate from C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento. He has been on the honor roll throughout his high school years and a leader in the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Alliance. DeGuzman’s love for sports extends to varsity volleyball, basketball and track, and he volunteered as a coach for the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation. In addition, he was a member of the Teens Create Dreams talent show committee to raise funds for WEAVE, which helps victims of sexual assault. He also was a teaching assistant for Jan Ken Po Gakko, a Japanese American cultural summer school, where he learned more about the Japanese incarceration experience. He was even able to travel to Japan with his family, where he became more aware and appreciative of his Japanese roots. DeGuzman plans to major in kinesiology and become a trainer, coach or physical therapist.
ELLIE MIZUSHIMA, daughter of Janet and Brian Mizushima, will graduate from C.K. McClatchy High School. Along with her accomplishments in the classroom, singing is a passion, and she has performed in school showcases, musicals and community theater. As an active member of the Sacramento Buddhist Church, she has volunteered as a teacher’s assistant for the kindergarten Dharma class and is an active member of the Jr. YBA. She also gives generously of her time to the community; she is active in the Girl Scouts and has participated in fundraising concerts for the Asian Community Center Senior Services. Mizushima traveled to Japan in 2019 and from viewing the memorial at the atomic bomb site in Hiroshima, she stated, “Every life is precious, and education should emphasize that in order to lower conflict.” Mizushima intends to major in communications.
KYLE SEO, son of Audrey and Derek Seo, will graduate from Inderkum High School in the Natomas School District, where he played on the varsity golf and baseball teams. He has also trained and played with teams at the Sacramento Sports Center and the Lodi JACL Templars. His experience with the Lodi Templars, a team that began in the early 20th century when Japanese Americans were excluded from other baseball leagues, helped him interact and learn from players of all ages and occupations while embracing and carrying on the long-standing traditions of the club. In addition, Seo has been an active member of the Sacramento Buddhist Church, where he participated in the sports program, Boy Scouts, Jr. YBA and Dharma School, where he volunteered as a teacher’s assistant for the second grade class. During the pandemic, Seo learned the importance of speaking out against API racism. Seo stated, “It is crucial that we not only teach how to identify things that are wrong but how we can prevent them from repeating.” He intends to pursue a career as a financial adviser.
BRYCE TAKAHA, son of Shelley and Blake Takaha, will graduate from John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento. In addition to scholastic achievement awards, he was instrumental in forming Teens Create Dreams, a talent show, as part of the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation. Among his many activities, Takaha was a youth basketball coach for SASF, and a member of the Sacramento Buddhist Church’s YBA. His extracurricular activities involved sports — basketball camps both at SASF and the Buddhist Church, soccer with the Greenhaven Soccer Program, as well as golf, track and cross country at high school. He values educating youth to help change society because they can speak up. Takaha plans to major in computer science.