Japanese American Living Legacy announced that Michael Moriyama, a resident of Hacienda Heights, has been awarded the 2012 Teri and Art Iwasaki Scholarship.


Moriyama participated in Boy Scouts and attained the highest honor of Eagle Scout. In high school, he played basketball, golfed and volunteered at Evergreen Baptist Church. Moriyama believes in giving back to the community, so while he participates in scholastic and community sports, he also volunteer coaches youth basketball and regularly participates in church activities.

“We have been fortunate that we have had some outstanding students apply for this scholarship, now in its fourth year,” said JA Living Legacy’s CEO, Susan Uyemura.

Chairperson Sharon Tani, Natalia Yamashiro-Chogyoji and Barbara Ige comprised the Scholarship Review Committee. “I imagine it’s difficult to balance academic excellence with outstanding community involvement. These young adults continue to impress us each year,” said Tani.

The recipient’s grandfather, Sam Moriyama, served with the Army’s Military Intelligence Service during World War II. “Spending summers gardening alongside my grandfather developed a strong work ethic in me and gave me a deep appreciation of the history of my family,” Michael said. “My father saw the value of an education and, while it wasn’t easy, my grandfather put both of his sons through college. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with my grandfather.”

Beginning in the fall, Moriyama will attend California Polytechnic University of Pomona majoring in mechanical engineering. “Thank you for this scholarship. I am proud to be an Iwasaki Scholar,” he said.

Art Iwasaki was a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s I Company. In 2008, the Iwasaki family of Oregon contacted JA Living Legacy to establish a five-year scholarship fund in honor of their parents, Art and his late wife, Teri Iwasaki. The Iwasaki children, Robert, Stephanie, Christie, Paul and Leslie, created the scholarship.

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