SAN FRANCISCO – The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California announced that applications are now available for the 2014-15 Kase Nikkei Community Scholarship Program (Kase Program).
The Kase Program offers students a $5,000 educational scholarship to support their college education, provides an opportunity to learn about and support the work of the JCCCNC, a community non-profit organization located in San Francisco’s Japantown, and gain professional skills and guidance during an eight-month internship. The goal of the program is to support the development of the next generation of community leaders.
“The Japanese American community has a vibrant history spanning more than a century and over several generations in the United States. Japanese Americans have the tremendous task of defining and addressing the needs of the present community to ensure its future vitality,” said Paul Osaki, JCCCNC executive director. “Preparing our youth to meet these challenges, through programs like the Kase Nikkei Community Scholarship Program, is essential if we want to build future leaders in our community that are creative, competitive and capable in the years ahead.”
Starting in June, selected Kase Program participants will take part in the statewide Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) Program at the JCCCNC. Interns will receive valuable training in community service, cultural preservation and networking with various community members. One day of each week is reserved for the interns to visit various Japanese American organizations and community leaders, and participate in leadership development workshops to expand their personal knowledge of available community services and resources.
From late August 2014 through January 2015, Kase Program interns will participate in a part-time Career Internship that will focus on the student’s individual career interest and development needs.
At least one of the Career Internships will focus on youth organizing and engaging other young people in supporting the long-term viability of the Japantown community. The youth organizer will facilitate communication about community involvement opportunities, organize youth gatherings, and identify potential projects or activities that will keep young people engaged in the Japantown community.
Important information about the Kase Nikkei Youth Scholarship Program:
1. Participants must be available full-time for the Summer Community Internship from June 16 to Aug. 8, 2014 and part-time for the Career Internship from Aug. 11, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015.
2. Japanese ancestry is not a requirement but a strong background of involvement in the Japanese American community is required, as well as a desire to learn about Japanese/Japanese American culture and heritage and the San Francisco Japantown community.
3. To be eligible for the 2014 program, the applicant must be continuing or entering college during the fall 2014 school year and be 18 years old at the start of the program (birthdate on or before June 16, 1996).
4. Up to five participants will be selected based on their application, letter of recommendation and interview.
5. Applications are due on Friday, March 28, 2014.
The Kase Program application process is a two-step process. After the initial applications and letters of recommendation have been submitted, qualified applicants will be invited to a personal interview between March 31 and April 11 and participants will be selected by the end of April.
Submit application and letter of recommendation by March 28 to: Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, Attn: Kase Scholarship, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94115.
Applications can be faxed to (415) 567-4222 to meet the deadline, but the original application and letter of recommendation need to be submitted by April 1 to be considered for the program.
Developed in 2012, the Kase Program is sponsored solely through the generosity of G. Kase, a strong supporter of the JCCCNC who considers the center to be his second home. It is the belief of the Kase Family that supporting the leadership development of Japanese American youth is vital to the future of the community, preserving its rich history, heritage and traditions for generations to come.
By creating the Kase Program, Kase wishes to provide financial support and an opportunity to go to college for those who might not have had the ability to do so otherwise.