Kara Chu, representing the 16 recipients of awards from the Japanese American Treaty Centennial Scholarship Fund, gives a round of applause to celebrate their achievements.

On July 31, 16 students were recipients of awards from the Japanese American Treaty Centennial Scholarship Fund given during a first-time virtual scholarship presentation award ceremony.

The fund was founded by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California in 1960 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese official delegation to the U.S. in 1860. Since that time, JATCSF has given 1,802 scholarships to Japanese American scholars.

Kitty Sankey, president of JATCSF, greeted the students and parents, followed by Consul General Akira Muto, who gave a video congratulatory greeting.

Since 2010, former recipients have assisted the JATCSF during scholarship ceremonies. This year, 2014 scholar Kristen Shiba and 2016 scholar Kyle Okazaki served as masters of ceremonies. Scholarships were not awarded in 2020 due to COVID, so this year, scholarships were given to both 2021 and 2020 graduates.

Kitty Sankey, Kristen Shiba and Kyle Okazaki

Jonathan Shiba, a 2019 scholar, introduced nine 2021 recipients:

Kara Kimiko Chu, a graduate of Northwood High in Irvine, will be attending UCLA.

Alana Ikemoto, a graduate of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, will be attending University of Washington, Seattle.

Allison Kuo, a graduate of Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, will be attending UCLA.

Alyssa Miyamoto, a graduate of La Cañada High in La Cañada, will be attending Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Kiley Murakami, a graduate of Oxford Academy in Cypress, will be attending UC Berkeley.

Kensay Sato, a graduate of Portola High in Irvine, will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Sean Thomas Yamaguchi, a graduate of the California Academy of Math and Science, will be attending USC.

Kai Yamasaki, a graduate of Viewpoint High in Calabasas, will be attending University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, at Ann Arbor.

Tina Yu, a graduate from Palos Verdes Peninsula High in Rolling Hills Estates, will be attending UC San Diego.

Gillian Ozawa, a 2018 scholar, introduced the seven recipients from 2020:

Taira Asukura, a graduate of Portola High in Irvine, has been attending UC Davis, majoring in science and technology studies.

Erica Hsueh, a graduate of Northwood High in Irvine, has been attending Princeton University in New Jersey and majoring in computer science.

Brooke Akemi Sasaki, a graduate of John F. Kennedy High in La Palma, has been attending Whittier College, majoring in business administration.

Caitlyn Tera Sasaki, a graduate of John F. Kennedy High in La Palma, has been attending UC Irvine, majoring in business economics.

Jason Shimoyama, a graduate of Palos Verdes High in Palos Verdes Estates, has been attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with an eye on a major in biopsychology, cognition and neuroscience.

Evan Takeshi Tsuji, a graduate of Arcadia High in Arcadia, has been attending USC and majoring in business and Asian American studies.

Robert Hitoshi Yamasaki, a graduate from the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, has been attending the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, majoring in software engineering.

Following the scholarship presentations, 2021 recipient Kara Chu, who will major in Asian languages and linguistics, gave words of appreciation on behalf of all the students.

JATCSF Vice President Thornton Dickerson thanked the following donors who provided scholarships to each of the students: Aratani Foundation, Mrs. Joyce Chinn, Kenji Ito Memorial Scholarship Fund, Mr. Happy Mizutani, Koichi and Toyo Nerio Memorial Fund, Nitto Tires, Ms. Kitty Sankey, Mr. and Mrs. Shoichi Sayano, and the Paul and Naomi Yoshimoto Scholarship Fund.

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