Ron Dyo, chairman of the Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program, a program of the Nikkei Federation, announced a 10-year celebration will be held on Saturday, June 22, to bring together the alumni of the program and their families and celebrate the accomplishments of all the students who completed the program over the past decade.

The RS10s visit the Japanese American National Museum.

Dyo, also chairman of the celebration, stated, “The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program has succeeded for 10 years because people get involved to help students for the future of our community. It wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s help. Our youth today will be leaders of tomorrow.

“Based on the first five years, we have seen many of our alumni taking giant steps to becoming the future leaders of our community. We are grateful to our workshop leaders and our sponsors who have supported the program over the years.

“The Rafu Shimpo Foundation is a founding sponsor and made it possible for us to launch the inaugural session. The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is the facility sponsor and hosts all sessions and planning committee and alumni meetings. The Rafu Shimpo is the media sponsor and supports the program by publishing the media efforts of the Rising Stars participants. We would not be able to present the Rising Stars Program without the ongoing support of the JACCC and The Rafu Shimpo.”

A total of 236 students from throughout the greater Los Angeles area have completed the program.

The luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quiet Cannon Restaurant, 901 N. Via San Clemente in Montebello. Jonathan Fukumoto, past Rising Stars vice chair, will serve as master of ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by Curtis Takimoto and Ryan Lee, who were participants in the second program (RS2).

Lunch will be provided for a $35 donation per person. RSVP by Friday, June 7. Indicate names of guests and meal selection: filet and salmon, or vegetarian. Checks should be made payable to Rising Stars and sent to Ann Masuda, 1080 Cordova St., Pasadena, CA 91106.

For those who cannot attend the luncheon and wish to make a donation, all contributions are welcome. For more information about the Rising Stars program, visit or contact Glenn Nakatani at (626) 951-5388 or

Participants in Rising Stars are high school students who are interested in becoming involved in the Japanese American community. They come together with the desire to become future leaders. Through workshops led by professionals in their fields, activities throughout Little Tokyo, and the implementation of a group project, the participants develop leadership skills and increase their community awareness.

The Rising Stars Alumni Program was formed in 2005 by a group of RS2 participants with the mission of utilizing the leadership skills that they gained to give back to the Rising Stars Program and the Japanese American community. Each year the alumni welcome the participants of the previous year to join them in planning events and programs such as “College Life 101”— an event that introduces high schoolers to life in college—and the Buddy Program — which brings alumni together with special-needs children for mutual support and learning. 

The alumni have a Facebook group, which they encourage all to join.

The Nikkei Federation serves the public by coordinating and promoting Japanese American cultural activities in Southern California as well as providing services through various educational and community development programs.

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