Yonsei Basketball Association is once again proud to continue its long-standing commitment to support the academic achievement and community service involvement of the youth of our communities. It is so encouraging to see the number of graduating seniors who have demonstrated excellence in both areas. It is with great pleasure that Yonsei honors the following four high-achieving, involved, talented and promising high school graduates.
Frank Kiyomura Founder’s Scholarship: Rylan Morio
Rylan is the son of Laine and Dana Morio. He graduated from El Dorado High School and will attend the University of Southern California as a Trustee Scholar in the fall. He will major in health and human sciences, pursuing a pre-medical track with his future goal of becoming either a neurologist or an optometrist.
Rylan is a National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar with Honor, Collegiate Scholar, and recipient of the Science Ironman and Science Department Award at his high school. In addition, Rylan impacted his school campus as a basketball and lacrosse team captain, link crew leader, National Honor Society member, and OC Outreach publicity chair.
Through all of his service, Rylan is most proud of his 13 years preserving Japanese American culture and community service through OCO Octagons, serving as their president. He believes his time with OCO was crucial in developing him into the person he has become, teaching him core values of leadership, teamwork, and friendship. He hopes to continue to serve the Japanese American community in the future and to make his supporters proud as he enters the next step of his journey.
Sue Kamiyama Memorial Scholarship: Elaina Lee
Elaina Lee is the daughter of Ryoko Uratani and Vernon Lee. She graduated from San Marino High School and will attend UC Berkeley in the fall, majoring in public health.
She was a three-year captain for her school’s varsity basketball team, a two-time national qualifier for speech and debate, and a captain of her L.A. County semifinalist mock trial team. Outside of school, she enjoys advocating against teenage tobacco usage as the board president of the nonprofit organization International Youth Tobacco Control. She enjoys reading, crocheting and eating lots of good food.
Elaina wants to thank the Yonsei Basketball Association for this opportunity and hopes to do good in the world someday!
Changing the Community Together (CCT) Giving Circle Scholarship: Shane Yoshimura
Shane is the son of Audra Yoshimura. He graduated from John Marshall High School and in the fall will be attending the University of Southern California, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering. His goal is to ultimately receive his master’s degree and become an aerospace engineer.
He played CYC basketball for 13 years on the Pasadena Bruins and has recently been awarded the organization’s Kaz Kitani Memorial Scholarship. He has also played on his school’s Varsity Boys’ Basketball team, winning a CIF Championship in 2021. Other extracurricular involvement includes programming an award-winning Python algorithm with Inspirit AI and Columbia University, which accurately detected exoplanets across space. He is both a National Merit Scholarship recipient and an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Shane is most proud of his involvement with the Los Angeles homeless community, which ranges from launching his school’s first Homeless Outreach Club to leading numerous community service projects. These include an annual food drive with Gobble Gobble Give, COVID-care packages with L.A. Mission, a family-specific fundraiser with Door of Hope, and a feminine hygiene drive in partnership with Albertsons. Giving back to his local community has always been a rewarding experience for Shane, and he plans to continue to do so in college.
Kintetsu International Express, Inc. Scholarship: Kaila Minei
Kaila Minei is the daughter of David and Soyoung Minei. She graduated from Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach. In the fall, Kaila will be attending the University of Southern California to study English.
Kaila’s academic interests include political science, American literature, and environmental science. She has played basketball since the age of five with organizations like Hollywood Dodgers and F.O.R. Kaila has also been involved in Girl Scouts for 13 years. At Redondo Union, Kaila earned several awards, including the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, AP Scholar with Distinction, and the RUHS STEM Seal. Kaila was also a part of several clubs and organizations such as CSF, Speech and Debate, Model U.N., Red Cross Club, and the Girls’ Basketball team.
Kaila is proudest of her ongoing Girl Scout Gold Award Project in which she works to combat period poverty and stigmas surrounding menstruation by working with local youth to create feminine hygiene kits for homeless women.