Scholarship recipients: Top row —  Tyler Yu, Jaren Kawai, Eddie Cabrera, Trent Douphner, Nathan Backman, Joshua Chang; bottom row — Scott Kato, Kylie Murakami, Kara Chu, Kristen Ho, Kevin Wong. Not pictured: Alyssa Yang.

The OCO Club held their annual Youth Fund Dinner in July to raise funds for scholarships for its college-bound seniors.

The event was held outdoors at the top of the hill overlooking Tanaka Farms in Irvine. The scholarship winners were introduced by Eunice Tanga, this year’s scholarship chair, to the generous donors in attendance. Twelve seniors were selected and over $9,000 in scholarship funds was distributed based on academic performance, leadership and outstanding community service.

The scholarship recipients include: Nathan Backman, Eddie Cabrera, Joshua Chang, Trent Douphner, Scott Kato, Jaren Kawai, Kylie Murakami, Kevin Wong, Alyssa Yang, and Tyler Yu.

Kristen Ho a scholarship recipient and the 12th-grade OCO Youth Club president, said, “I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout my time with OCO. The club has taught me great leadership skills and helped grow my love for community service.”

Current and former Hiroyuki Russell Yamaga Scholarship winners: Aidan Kosaka (2020), Kara Chu (2021) and Kirsten Wong (2019).

Kara Chu is this year’s recipient of the Hiroyuki Russell Yamaga Scholarship, sponsored by the Yamaga family in memory of the club’s charter president and awarded to an individual who exemplifies outstanding academics and contributions to the Japanese American community. She will utilize the scholarship as she embarks on her college career at UCLA.

All of the recipients were members of OCO’s Youth Club and participated in many of the organization’s community service projects.

“We are proud to be able to honor these seniors who worked hard to excel academically, but also made a commitment to giving back to the organization and their community,” said Renee Kimoto, OCO Club president. “We look forward to hearing about their successes in the future.”

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