National JACL Announces 2020 National Scholarships

Deadline for Freshman application- March 2, 2020
Deadline for other applications- April 1, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is kicking off its National Scholarship and Awards Program for the 2020 academic year. The JACL annually offers approximately 30 college scholarships for students who are incoming college freshmen, undergraduates and graduates, and those specializing in law and the creative/performing arts. There are also student aid scholarships for those in need of financial assistance in this era of rising tuition costs.

Scholarship Program guidelines, instructions and applications can be found on the JACL website,, by clicking “Youth” on the menu bar.

Freshman applications must be submitted directly by the applicant to the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL, c/o Marcia Hashimoto, P. O. Box 163, Watsonville, CA 95077 with a postmark no later than March 2, 2020. Freshman applicants should contact  Membership Assistant Tomiko Ismail at or by calling the Membership Department at (415) 921-5225, extension 26 for information details and the application form.
Our W-SC JACL chapter will then have one month to evaluate their freshman applications and forward only the most outstanding ones to the National JACL Freshman Scholarship Committee, c/o Seattle JACL, P.O. Box 18558, Seattle, WA 98118, no later than April 1, 2020.

Applications for the “other” scholarship categories–undergraduate, graduate, law, creative/performing arts, and student aid–are to be sent directly by the applicant to the National JACL Scholarship Committee, c/o JACL Midwest District Council, 10604 Killarney Drive, Union, Kentucky 41091, with a postmark no later than April 1, 2020.
All those applying to the National JACL Scholarship Program must be a youth/student or individual member of the JACL; a couple/family membership does not meet this requirement. Applicants must be enrolled in school in Fall 2020 in order to be eligible for a scholarship.

Please visit for Scholarship details, eligibility requirements, and applications. For more information on the National JACL Scholarship Program, contact Regional Director Patty Wada at or National JACL Vice President for Planning & Development Matthew Farrells at

JACL Watsonville-Santa Cruz Local Scholarships

Application available for download:

Deadline:  May 18, 2020

  • Applicants will apply for scholarships by submitting generic application information that could apply to and satisfy all of the scholarship funds.
  • The W-SC 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 W-SC 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, held at Aptos Village Park on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
    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 Kee Kitayama Memorial Scholarship fund was established by Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL and Mrs. Keiko Kitayama in memory of her husband, Kee, who was our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL chapter president in 1987. Mr. Kitayama worked tirelessly for Redress and Reparations with the Civil Liberties Act of August 10, 1988. The Kee Kitayama Memorial Scholarship fund provides much needed financial and moral support for our future Santa Cruz County young scholars. It upholds Mr. Kee Kitayama’s legacy, encouraging our youth in their pursuit of higher education. 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 Scholarships were 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 our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Chapter Scholarship Committee on or before Monday, May 18, 2020. They should be mailed to:

JACL Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 163
Watsonville, CA 95077

The presentation of the scholarships will take place on Saturday, June 20, 2020 during the JACL Annual Community Picnic at Aptos Village Park. Thank you.