JACL National Scholarships

*Applications available now

**Deadline for Freshman application- March 1, 2019

Deadline for other applications- April 1, 2019

The JACL National annually offers approximately 30 college scholarships for students who are incoming college freshmen, undergraduates and graduates, and those specializing in law or the creative/performing arts.  There is also a scholarship for those in need of financial aid in this time of rising tuition costs.  The newest scholarship, Meiji Gakuin University-JACL Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior to attend college in Japan to study for a bachelor’s degree in International Studies.

Please visit for Scholarship details, eligibility requirements, and applications.  For additional information regarding the JACL National Scholarship Program, please contact Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075 or

JACL Watsonville-Santa Cruz Local Scholarships

Applications available for download: Scholarship Application 2018

Deadline-  May 15, 2019

  • Applicants will apply for scholarships by submitting generic application information that could apply to and satisfy all of the four scholarship funds.
  • The JACL’s Scholarship Committee will determine, based on factors such as meritorious performance; grades; participation in certain social activities and organizations, such as Kokoro no Gakko; level of volunteerism; and length of membership in the JACL, the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, and/or the Westview Presbyterian Church, which applicants receive which scholarships.
  • All scholarship recipients and their parents must be JACL, Watsonville Buddhist Temple, and/or Westview Presbyterian Church members for a minimum of one year prior to receipt of scholarship.
  • Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the scholarship recipient and/or his/her family must be present at the awards ceremony, which will take place at the JACL’s annual community picnic, usually in the latter part of June of each year, and typically held at Aptos Village Park.

An announcement for scholarship applications will be included in the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL newsletter, the Watsonville Buddhist Temple’s Ichimi, and the Westview Presbyterian Church’s Chimes no later than the April issues.  That announcement will include requirements, documentation, and information needed to apply—along with the submittal deadline.  The final determination of scholarship recipients should be made no later than the 31st of May.

Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Local Scholarships

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Kee Kitayama Memorial Scholarship

  • The Watsonville JACL established this scholarship in memory of our 1987 President, Kee Kitayama, a respected leader who worked tirelessly for Redress and reparations with the Civil Liberties Act of August 10, 1988. In 1997, Mrs. Keiko Kitayama’s generous donation in memory of her late husband, established the memorial scholarship as a Trust Fund which provides needed financial support for our young scholars. It upholds Mr. Kee Kitayama’s legacy, encouraging our youth in their pursuit of higher education which lives on in this $1,000 scholarship. The Kee Kitayama Memorial Scholarship may be awarded to graduating high school seniors to be used towards their college education.

Frank Mito Scholarship

  • The Frank Mito Scholarship Fund was established by his family to provide financial support for local students pursuing higher education goals. Frank Mito was an active supporter of the Watsonville Japanese American community. The Frank Mito Scholarship Fund was formerly awarded through the Kokoro no Gakko. The $500 Frank Mito Scholarship may be awarded to a graduating high school senior with Kokoro no Gakko participation preferred and may be additive to other JACL scholarships.

The Rekiso “Ray” and Hisako “Louise” Sako Scholarships

  • The Rekiso and Hisako Sako Scholarship was established in 2012 to help local students who are actively involved with the JACL, Watsonville Buddhist Temple, and/or Westview Presbyterian Church pursue their higher education goals. Mrs. Sako and the late Mr. Sako have been long time members of the JACL, Senior Center, and leaders among the Japanese American Community.
  • A four-year undergraduate scholarship may be awarded at $1,000 per year. This scholarship shall not be limited to first-year undergraduates. For example, an undergraduate who has completed the first year of study may be eligible for a $1,000 per year scholarship for up to three years.
  • A two-year graduate scholarship will be awarded at $1,000 per year. This scholarship is not limited to a first-year graduate. For example, a graduate who has completed the first year of study may be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship for a year.

Send your completed forms to Dr. Brooke Rains, our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Chapter Scholarship Chairperson, on or before  May 15th.  They should be mailed to:

Dr. Brooke Rains, Chairperson
JACL Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 163
Watsonville, CA 95077

The presentation of the scholarship will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2019 during the JACL Annual Community Picnic at Aptos Village Park.   Thank you.