By LESLIE SHIRASAWA
The San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center has announced the following recipients of its 2022 scholarship awards.
Rane Kita, son of Gregg and Katie Kita is the recipient of the Nagasawa Education Scholarship. He is a graduate of West Ranch High School and has been accepted into UC Irvine, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and Ohio State University. His academic honors include AP Scholar, National Honor Society and Scholar Athlete Award.
At West Ranch, Rane played both junior and varsity basketball and was team captain in 2018 and 2019-2022. He also played on the San Fernando Hawks and coached the San Fernando Blast.
Rane has volunteered at many SFVJACC events. His wish is for the Community Center “to keep inspiring Asian American youth to find individuality through the community.”
Jensen Emi is awarded the Dr. Sanbo and Mrs. Kay Kazuko Furata Sakaguchi Scholarship. She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Stephanie Emi. Jensen attends Granada Hills Charter High School and will serve as valedictorian. She has been accepted into several colleges, including Santa Clara University, UC Davis, UC San Diego and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She plans to major in computer science or mathematics. Scholastic honors include AP Scholar and Gold Honor Roll.
Jensen played high school basketball and was the Most Valuable Player on the Frosh/Soph Team and also selected for the West Valley League Team in her junior and senior years. In addition, she played on the SF Swish and Hollywood Dodger Xtreme teams.
Community activities include crocheted scarves for Operation Gratitude, and during COVID-19 she served as website editor and tutor for Quaranteen Mentors.
Jensen said the SFVJACC Athletics Program allowed her “to meet new people, and have fun playing basketball.”
Kishi Sugahara Strahl is the recipient of the Mrs. Lily Sakaguchi Thibodeaux Scholarship. She is the daughter of Roy Sugahara and Shari Strahl. She will graduate from the Valley Academy of Arts and has been accepted to several institutions, including UC Berkeley and UCLA. She plans to major in biology. Her scholastic honors include AP Scholar and membership in the California Scholastic Federation.
Kishi has participated on her high school decathlon team, was awarded a bronze medal and also scored the highest decathlon score for her team. She also participated in karate.
She has participated in numerous community activities that included creating a learning project focusing on the magic of books, bringing light to negative effects of reading deficits. Kishi has been involved in her school’s musical theater productions and played the lead role in one musical. She also finds time to work part-time as a barista at her neighborhood Starbucks.
After graduating, Kishi plans to contribute more time to the SFVJACC. She would like to see “the Community Center continue to grow and have a mixed environment of opinions in the operation of the center.”
Scholarship Committee members are Grace Iwamasa, Chisato Kanagi, Kyoko Nancy Oda, Lois Okui, and Leslie Shirasawa.