FOUNTAIN VALLEY — The Orange County Optimists Club held its annual Youth Recognition Night on May 18, honoring graduating seniors, scholarship winners and youth club presidents.
The club awarded over $5,000 in scholarships to deserving high school seniors.
President Renee Kimoto welcomed attendees at the Mile Square Regional Park banquet room in Fountain Valley during the awards dinner.
The young scholars were chosen based on their academic achievements and school involvement, but most importantly, their record of community service.
The OCO Scholarship awardees are: Kayla Cheng from Marina High School; Kayla Hamakawa from Whitney High School; Cassidy Kinoshita from Tustin High School; Sarang Min from University High School; and Akemi Tanga from Huntington Beach High School.
The organization also recognized their Youth Club presidents: Kayla Cheng, 12th grade; Hayley Mukai, 11th grade; Lyric Olsen, 10th grade; Madison Nguyen, 9th grade; and Kenzie Kwan, Junior Youth Club.
The Russell Hiroyuki Yamaga Scholarship was awarded to Allyson Morishita. She was selected on the strength of her outstanding community service throughout her high school years.
The Linda Kimoto Community Service Award, OCO’s most prestigious award, was given this year to Aidan Kosaka, who was chosen for his exceptional community service not only in OCO, but throughout the Japanese American community.
Some of the organizations Aidan works with are Orange County Buddhist Church, Yonsei, Kizuna, Terasaki Budokan and the L.A. Olympics 2028.
The scholarship winners also took part in last Saturday’s annual Youth Fund Dinner and reverse raffle, which raises funds for these scholarships, at Tanaka Farms in Irvine.
For more information about OCO’s scholarships and their various youth activities, contact Shannon Olsen at email@example.com.