Events for the Chapter

2017 South Bay JACL Scholarship Recipients Announced

The 2017 South Bay JACL Scholarship Awards Dinner was held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at the Toyota Automobile Museum in Torrance, California. Three students were awarded the Kiichi Egashira Memorial Scholarships; Derek Morimoto, Meggan Uyeda and Brandon Kono-Song. Meggan Uyeda was awarded the Janice Kobata Zoeger Memorial Scholarships and Payton Hana Bell and Hope Maruyama were awarded the Gardena Valley JACL Scholarship.


The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Michelle Yamashiro, JACL, Board of Directors Governor and Kizuna, Program Manager.

Inspired by her parent's dedication and service to their community and families, Michelle has always been interested in community service and leadership development. Michelle graduated from UC Irvine in 2012 with a BA in Anthropology. At UC Irvine she was active and involved in the Nikkei Student Union (Tomo No Kai) and Taiko group (Jodaiko). It was through these clubs that she learned more about the Japanese American experience, and the strength of youth action.

After graduation, she continued her education at the University of Southern California (USC) to achieve her Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T) with an emphasis and certificate in gifted education. Michelle completed her student teaching at both the high school level (at the California Academy of Math and Science) and middle school level (Dodson Math and Science Magnet). Additionally, she has taught and volunteered at various schools in the Torrance Unified School District. During her time teaching, she shared new technologies and forms of teaching in her classrooms. Through interactive videos, creative forms of discussion, and real-life application of school work, she was able to create an engaging environment for her students.

The Gardena Valley JCI (GVJCI) offered her the opportunity to apply her teaching skills and create programs and social services available to the South Bay community. The GVJCI saw an expansion of programs both in quantity and variety. In addition to growing the program base, she helped write the new mission and vision statement for the organization

2017 South Bay JACL Scholarship Recipients

2017 Kiichi Egashira Memorial Scholarship
Derek Morimoto
Meggan Uyeda
Brandon Kono-Song

2017 Janice Kobata Zoeger Memorial Scholarship
Meggan Uyeda

2017 Gardena Valley Japanese American Citizens League Scholarship
Payton Hana Bell
Hope Maruyama

For more information on the South Bay JACL Scholarships click here


2017 National JACL Scholarship Recipients

DMWe are pleased to announce that Derek Morimoto, son of Myles and Emi Morimoto of Torrance, California is the recipient of the Deni & June Uejima Memorial Scholarship from the National JACL Scholarship Program.

Deni & June Uejima Memorial Scholarship ‚Ä?/strong> The Uejimas were very committed to the Japanese American community. They were long-time members of the San Gabriel Valley JACL and Deni served multiple terms as the chapter‚Äôs president. They bequeathed this endowment to reach out to and support the community‚Äôs young leaders.

Derek graduated from West Torrance High School in June of 2017 and will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall, majoring in Environmental Engineering.

We congratulate Derek for his great achievement.

For more information on the National JACL Scholarships click here.


logo2017 was the 10th 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 10 to July 14, 2017 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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