Greater L.A. JACL Presents Four Scholarships

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Janet Okubo, GLA JACL co-president; scholarship recipients Amy Baker, Rikiya Smith, Matthew Clingerman and Tiffany Chen; Kurt Ikeda, GLA JACL co-president. (Photo by Miyako Kadogawa)

GARDENA — At its annual Hana Uno Shepard Scholarship and Chapter Fundraiser Dance on June 30 at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena, the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League presented scholarship awards of $1,000 each to four graduating seniors.

Awardees are of Japanese descent from single-parent families. The scholarship is named in memory of a chapter member who was active in the redress movement of the 1980s.

The presenters were chapter co-presidents Janet Okubo and Kurt Ikeda.

• Amy Baker of North High School in Torrance will study international business at Azusa Pacific University. At North, she was the Associated Student Body vice president and commissioner of athletics from 2016 to 2018. Amy went on a mission trip to Ghana; one of the projects was working with children with disabilities who have been disowned and left by their families.

• Rikiya Smith of North Hollywood High School will study aerospace engineering at UC Irvine. He has published a book, “Through the Eyes of a Teen,” which contains photographs he took in Joshua Tree National Park, Salton Sea and Slab City on New Year’s Day 2016 as well as his thoughts. The book, written in English and Japanese, is sold on Amazon.com.

• Matthew Clingerman of Glendale High School will study aerospace engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2016, he volunteered as a student ambassador for Glendale’s City Council meetings and also interned for former California Assemblyman Mike Gatto. In 2018, he started interning for U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff in Burbank. Matthew was in the Glendale Police Explorer Program from 2016 to 2017.

• Tiffany Chen of South Pasadena High School will attend the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She was a member of the Varsity Business Plan Team, which recently placed in the top 16 of the nation out of 584 teams in the National Business Plan Competition held in New York City last April. The team placed second in California in January.

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