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Scholarship Committee

History
Donations

Types of Scholarships

Purpose of the Scholarship Committee

  • To recognize high scholastic achievement and effort in high school
  • To recognize dedication to Okinawan cultural or performing arts
  • To develop awareness of their Okinawan heritage
  • To encourage their continued involvement in the Okinawa Association of America and community activities

Eligibility

  • Okinawa Association of America member in good standing
  • Be of Okinawan descent
  • High School seniors graduating this school year
  • Minimum of 2.75 grade point average

History

The first documentation of an educational encouragement occurred in 1954 when a memento was presented to an outstanding high school graduate of 1954 at the New Year's Banquet.

The first Scholarship Committee was formed in 1959 with a budget of $600, and cap on the highest amount not to exceed $200. The standardized marks for California scholarship awards were to be strictly observed.

In 1966, scholarships were awarded to 5 deserving high school graduate and mementos were given to 7 high school graduates.

From 1966 until 1999, we have awarded 300 scholarships over the past 33 years. This is truly remarkable that we have encouraged 300 high school graduates by investing in their pursuit of higher education.

Our heartfelt thanks to Shoan Yamauchi who originated the scholarship fund and continually supported it with his donations. We are also grateful to Chosuke Miyahira and Joe Higashi for their many generous donations to the scholarship fund. Three scholarships have been established in their honor and are annually awarded to the top three students.

In 1994, we made a survey of past scholarship recipients about their education, career, family, hobbies/interests, and community involvement. We inquired about suggestions for improving scholarship procedures. As a result of 79 replies, one suggestion brought 4 past scholarship recipients as members of the Scholarship Committee. Many of those who replied have participated as speakers in our previous four Career Seminars.


Donations

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are always welcome as an investment in our Okinawan youth.

Please send to: Okinawa Association of America, Inc., 16500 South Western Avenue #203, Gardena, CA 90247


Types of Scholarships
We are proud to honor our Okinawa youth with three types of scholarships available through our Okinawa Association of America.

1. Academic Scholarships for Current High School Graduates
The awards will be based primarily on academic accomplishments with due consideration given to extracurricular and community activities, and financial needs.

Purpose

  • To recognize their high scholastic achievement and effort in high school
  • To develop an awareness of their Okinawan heritage
  • To encourage their continued involvement in the Okinawa Association of America and community activities

Eligibility

  • Okinawa Association of America member in good standing
  • Of Okinawan decent
  • High school seniors graduating this school year
  • Minimum of 2.75 grade point average
Recognition
  • Awarded at the annual Okinawa Association of America Picnic (July)
  • Featured in the quarterly Okinawa Association of America newsletter

2. Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogi Kai Scholarships

Purpose

  • To recognize their achievement in the study of traditional Japanese culture such as koto, shamisen, buyo (dance), ikebana, tea ceremony, kendo, karate, taiko, etc.

Eligibility

  • Age 17 through 25
  • Must be recommended by a teacher of study, then submitted to the Kenjinkai
  • May be used for college or to continue to further study the specific aspect of Japanese culture

3. Kempi Scholarships to Okinawa
(Sponsored by the Okinawa International Foundation)
(A. "Ryudai" to the University of the Ryukyus)
(B. "Geidai" to the Prefectural University of the Arts)

Purpose

  • To promote international exchange between Okinawa and the Okinawans in other countries overseas
  • To study in Okinawa for one year with all expenses paid by the Okinawan Prefectural Government (OPG) and the Okinawa International Foundation

Eligibility

  • Must be of Okinawan descent
  • Must be a high school graduate
  • Must be between 18 and 30 years of age
  • Must have a proficiency in the Japanese language
  • Must be sponsored by the Kenjinkai in the United States

4. Jr. Study Tour
The Jr. Study Tour is offered through the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG). Its a 10 day program for youths of Okinawan descent between the ages of 13 – 18. Only one youth per Kenjinkai (from around the world) is nominated and a total of 14 youths will be selected by the Okinawan Prefectural Government to participate in the Jr. Study Tour. The program is during the summer, usually at the end to July to early August. 

Applications for a past Junior Study participant to serve as a group leader who can speak conversation Japanese will also be accepted. There is a nominal participation fee for both youth and the leader, but all other travel and program costs will be paid for by the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG).

Purpose

  • To promote international exchange between Okinawa and the Okinawans in other countries overseas
  • To learn about Okinawan culture and history

Eligibility

  • Between 13-18 years old
  • Parents must be a member of OAA
  • Must have relatives or friends that will provide homestay for a few days
  • A one page essay

** Please help us tell our Okinawan youth about these wonderful scholarships available through the Okinawa Association of America. We need everyone's help to spread the good news!

 


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