SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) has announced that applications are now available for the Kase Nikkei Community Scholarship Program (Kase Program).

The Kase Program will offer students the opportunity to support their education and the work of various non-profit community organizations, while increasing their understanding of contemporary issues affecting San Francisco’s Japantown community and giving them the necessary tools to help address them.

Coordinated by the JCCCNC, in cooperation with the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC), the goal of the program will be to support the development of the next generation of community leaders.

“The Japanese American community has a vibrant history spanning more than a century and four generations in the United States. Japanese Americans have the tremendous task of defining and addressing the needs of the present community to ensure its future vitality,” says Paul Osaki, JCCCNC executive director. “Preparing our youth to meet these challenges, through programs like the Kase Nikkei Youth Community Scholarship Program, is essential if we want to build future leaders in our community that are creative, competitive and capable in the years ahead.”

Starting in June, selected participants in the Kase Program will take part in an eight-week (full-time) Community Internship at a non-profit organization in Japantown. Interns will receive valuable training in community service, volunteerism, cultural preservation and networking with various community leaders.

One day of each week is reserved for the interns to visit various Japanese American organizations, community leaders, and participate in leadership and career development workshops to expand their personal knowledge of available community services and resources.

From September 2012 to May 2013, they will participate in a part-time (approximately 40 hours a month) Career Internship that will focus on the students’ individual career interest and development needs. Successful Japanese American professionals will be identified to host interns and provide guidance and experience in specific fields.

Up to five participants will each receive a $5,000 educational scholarship for their successful completion of the Kase Program. Students will be selected based on their application, letter of recommendation and interview.

At least one of the Career Internships will focus on youth organizing and engaging other young people in supporting the long-term viability of the Japantown community.  The youth organizer will facilitate communication about community involvement opportunities, organize youth gatherings and identify potential projects or activities that will keep young people engaged in the Japantown community.

Participants must be available full-time for the Summer Community Internship from June 17-Aug. 10 and part-time for the Career Internship from September to May.

Japanese ancestry is not a requirement, but a strong background of involvement in the Japanese American community is required, as well as a desire to learn about Japanese/Japanese American culture, heritage and the San Francisco Japantown community.

To be eligible for the 2012 program, the applicant must be continuing or entering college during the fall 2012 school year and be 18 years old at the start of the program (birthdate on or before June 17, 1994).

Applications are due on Friday, April 20.

The Kase Program application process is a two-step process. After the initial applications have been submitted, qualified applicants will be invited to a personal interview April 16-19 and participants will be selected by April 27.

Submit application and letter of recommendation by to: JCCCNC, Attn: Kase Scholarship, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94115.

Applications can be faxed to (415) 567-4222 , but the original application and letter of recommendation need to be submitted by April 23 to be considered for the program.

For more information or an application, visit or contact Lori Matoba at (415) 567-5505 or

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *