Twelve local high school seniors were honored at the 56th annual Twin Cities JACL Scholarship Awards Banquet on May 9. In addition to academic records, community service and extracurricular activities, applicants were evaluated on essays expressing their perspectives on “The Relevance of JACL Today.”
Scholarships totaling $18,800 were awarded to Gigi Bocek (PiM Arts High School), Jack Dagoberg (Wayzata High School), Marissa Dulas (Edina High School), Eric Ewoldt (School of Environmental Studies), Danielle Honda (Mounds Park Academy), Caleb and Micah Maeda (Rosemount High School), Miki Rierson (The Blake School), Alyssa Romportl (Buffalo High School), Sam Sikkink (Hopkins High School), Mari Thompson (Eastview High School) and Rina Yamamoto (White Bear Lake Area High School).
Family members presented named scholarships in memory of the following individuals and couples: Bill Doi, Annie Sakai Girard, Kay Kushino, Dr. Norman Kushino, Susan Matsumoto, Reiko H. Ohno, Tom Ohno, Tom and Martha Oye, Tsuyano Sakai, Earl K. and Ruth Tanbara, Phyllis Takekawa and Minoru and Mary Yoshida.
Because graduating seniors did not qualify for other minority scholarships at that time, Nisei Kimi Hara proposed starting a chapter scholarship program with proceeds remaining from the JACL Eastern District and Midwest District Convention in 1960. The first awards were presented in 1962.
In her welcome speech, Chapter President Amy Dickerson invited the young scholars to “continue their involvement in the community,” and “remember that the JACL has many new opportunities for you.” The Scholarship Committee also acknowledged its gratitude to “the Issei and Nisei because without them, we could not have achieved the success we have today.”
This year’s scholarship committee members were Pam Ohno Dagoberg (chair), Carol Dean, Sylvia Farrells, Teresa Swartz, Connie Tsuchiya and Fred Tsuchiya.