JACL Watsonville-Santa Cruz Local Scholarships

Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapter Scholarship Application for 2023 are available for download at the link below and by contacting Marcia Hashimoto at or (831) 722-6859 (please leave a message with your telephone number):

Click to access watsonville-santa-cruz-scholarship-application-2023.pdf

Deadline: Wednesday, June 14, 2023

  • 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.
  • For 2023, the scholarship awards will either be sent by mail or delivered personally.
  • 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. The final determination of scholarship awards will be made no later than July 10, 2023.

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 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, and his scholarship fund was formerly awarded through Kokoro no Gakko (“School of the Heart”). The $500 Frank Mito Scholarship may be awarded to a graduating high school senior, usually with Kokoro no Gakko participation, 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 in pursuing their higher education goals. Mrs. Sako and the late Mr. Sako have been long time members of the JACL and Senior Center, and leaders among the Japanese American community. A four-year undergraduate scholarship may be awarded at a maximum of $1,000 per year, and may be extended for a maximum of two additional years of graduate studies. This scholarship may be applied for at any time, from graduating from high school through completion of a masters degree (maximum of $6,000 total).

Please send your completed forms to Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Chapter Scholarship Committee on or before Wednesday, June 14th, 2023. Mail the documents to:

JACL Scholarship Committee
P. O. Box 163
Watsonville, CA 95077-0163

*Scholarship awards will be personally presented or mailed to honorees.

National JACL 2023 National Scholarships

The National Scholarship and Awards Program offers scholarships to students who are entering freshman, undergraduate, graduate, law, in the creative & performing arts, and those with financial need. All scholarships are one-time awards.

The National JACL Scholarship Program will now be totally online! This means all of the applications can be done on your computer/tablet through the online application form and submitted online. NO MAILING REQUIRED! As such there will be some new guidelines and changes which you can find listed below in the 2023 Scholarship Guidelines document and on the applications themselves. Also note, the applications will NOT save if you close or reload your window, so please fill them out in one sitting!

Scholarship Program guidelines, instructions and applications can be found on the JACL website,, by clicking Youth, then Scholarships.