Events for the Chapter

2016 South Bay JACL Scholarship Recipients Announced

The 2016 South Bay JACL Scholarship Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at the Toyota Automobile Museum in Torrance, California. Five students were awarded the Kiichi Egashira Memorial Scholarship, two students were awarded the Janice Kobata Zoeger Memorial Scholarship and two students were awarded the Gardena Valley JACL Scholarship.

ciThe Keynote Speaker for the evening was Craig Ishii, Director of Kizuna.

Craig Ishii has dedicated his career to the development of the next generation of Japanese American community leaders. In his various community roles, Craig has worked with thousands of youth over the last decade. In 2011, he co-founded Kizuna, a quickly growing nonprofit with the mission of building a future for the Japanese American community through the education, empowerment and engagement of the next generation. 

During his tenure with Kizuna, Craig has led the organization to develop its highly effective leadership development pipeline, working with over 400 students annually ranging from age 7 through 40+. This leadership pipeline is lauded for its ability to create a unique experience and relationship at each age, as well as it’s ability to successively educate youth based on their awareness and readiness at each level.

During his role as Kizuna’s Director, he was the Chair of the Little Tokyo Community Council, a neighborhood council of over 90 Little Tokyo nonprofits, businesses, residents and other community stakeholders successfully coordinating community concerns on a number of critical community issues. Previous to his work at Kizuna, he served as the Southern California Regional Director of the Japanese American Citizens League, a national civil rights organization. He was the youngest to serve in both of these positions.

As a community leader, Craig believes in creating cultural & historical awareness, a passion for community service, and ethical, respectful & competent leadership abilities amongst the next generation.

Craig earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management in 2010 and is a 2007 graduate of UCLA

2016 South Bay JACL Scholarship Recipients

2016 Kiichi Egashira Memorial Scholarship
Alyssa Ishimoto
Emma Anderson
Kelly Kanemitsu
Shannon Nakamura
Sonoma Saito

2016 Janice Kobata Zoeger Memorial Scholarship
Devon Kawada
Ryan Isamu Shiozaki

2016 Gardena Valley Japanese American Citizens League Scholarship
Zachary Ishimoto
Rachael Oda

For more information on the South Bay JACL Scholarships click here


2016 National JACL Scholarship Recipients

We are pleased to announce that one South Bay JACL students are recipients of a 2016 National JACL Scholarship.

Rachel Akemi Oda, daughter of Steven and Sharon Oda of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, received the Sam and Florice Kuwahara Memorial Scholarship. Rachel graduated from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in June of 2016 and will be attending Pomona College majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economic with a minor in Computer Science.  

We congratulate Rachel for her great achievement.

For more information on the National JACL Scholarships click here.


logo2016 was the 9th year for the TANOSHII Fun Camp sponsored by the South Bay JACL and the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI). The mission of the TANOSHII Fun Camp is to "Promote the Legacy of the Japanese American Culture and Heritage to our Youth".

The camp took place from July 11 to July 15, 2016 at the:
      Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI)
      1964 W. 162nd Street
      Gardena, CA 90247

To read more about the program click here and on our webpage at the Gardena Valley JCI website.


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