Japanese American Graduation Banquet

Japanese American Graduation Banquet

Portland JACL Newsletter: June 2011 Issue
(click here for the latest issue)

Board Member’s Message
by Marleen Wallingford

Japanese American Graduation Banquet

Portland JACL 2011 Scholarship

Congratulations to the class of 2011. The Japanese American Graduation Banquet was held on the first of May with a dinner and celebration at the Multnomah Athletic Club. All graduating high school students of Japanese heritage as well as family and community members are invited to this annual event. This is an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate a significant milestone in our young people’s lives. This year’s Master of Ceremony responsibilities were shared by Todd Yuzuriha and Terry Nishikawa. Rev. Obata of Nichiren Buddhist Temple gave the invocation. Consul General Takamichi Okabe congratulated the graduates on their achievements.

This year’s keynote speech was given by a former scholarship winner, Lisa Hoashi. When she graduated from Tigard High School, Lisa was awarded the Hideo Naito Scholarship. Lisa is the Public Information Officer of Mercy Corps has had the opportunity to support its work in Haiti and Japan. Lisa spoke about the three values that have helped shape the decisions in her life: integrity, love and compassion and exploration. Lisa talked about her choices and how Japanese cultural values had shaped her behavior and the way she views the word. She challenged the graduates to pay attention to their values and by staying true to those values; they will find their own path. Lisa’s words were very inspiring and she is so fortunate to feel so fulfilled with what she describes as her dream job.

This year the Scholarship Committee headed by Chip Larouche of Nikkei Jin Kai gave almost $15,000 in scholarships to deserving students. The following students were recognized at the banquet:

Katherine Acterman, St. Mary’s Academy
Portland JACL and State Farm Scholarship
University of San Franciso

Daughter of Marilyn and Mark Acterman. Katherine has written for her school newspaper since her sophomore year and served the last two years as co-editor. She has been a staff member of St. Mary’s literary magazine, Escribe Maria. Katherine has been a Model United Nations delegate and participated for four years on St. Mary’s Academy dragon boat team. She has served as Youth Minister Assistant for Oregon Buddhist Temple. She also was selected to give the Graduate Response. She thanked the community and talked about how the Japanese culture has affected her life. Katherine is planning on studying journalism.

Kalia Bistolas, Wilsonville High School
Satsuki Azumano Scholarship
Occidental College

Daughter of Christi Irinaga Bistolas and John Bistolas. Kalia has participated for several years in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair. Her last topic focused on dye retention in silica isolated from diatoms. She has a weighted gpa of 4.2 and is a member of the National Honor Society. Kalia has worked as an editor and writer for her school’s literary journal, Soliloquy. During the summer of before her junior year, she was a foreign exchange student in Kitakata, Japan. Kalia has worked as an intern in the Solar Energy Research Project at Portland State University’s Department of Chemistry. She is also a member of her school’s varsity soccer and track team. Kalia plans on majoring in biology and physics.

Nicholas Inouye, Wilsonville High School
Hideo Naito Scholarship
University of Oregon

Son of Jenny and Kurtis Inouye. Kurtis has been a member of his school’s baseball team since his freshman year and has played on community teams year round. He works as a part time umpire for the 3rd through 8th grade leagues. Nicholas has taken Advanced Placement classes and is a member of the National Honor Society. He was one of the founders of his school’s Asian Club. He is student counsel treasurer. Nicholas has volunteered for Konko Church, Vernonia Flood clean-up, the Oregon Food Bank and Mochitsuki. He will be working towards a degree in business.

Kristen Jung, Beaverton High School
Gresham –Troutdale JACL Scholarship
Linfield College

Daughter of Karen Sachiko Jung and William Jung. Kristen has been a member of her school’s marching ensemble, playing clarinet and was the drum major her senior year. She is a member of National Honor Society, Key Club and Health Occupations Students of America. Kristen has taken advanced placement classes She has volunteered for Meals on Wheels and he Oregon Food Bank. Kristen plans on studying nursing.

Robert Kakesako, Tigard High School
Yoshiko Kennedy Scholarship
Oregon State University

Son of Kathy and Randy Kakesako. Robert works as a volunteer at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. After he graduates college, he is interested in joining the Peace Corps. Robert has played baseball, been a member of the track and field team and swim team. He’s also sung with the Men’s Concert Choir. He’s been a member of Gaarde Christian Youth Group and participates in Young Life. Robert is interested in the field of public health.

Kevin Kawasaki, West Linn High School
Matthew Masuoka Scholarship
Linfield College

Son of Pam and Ed Kawasaki. Kevin is a member of National Honor Society and has played basketball and varsity baseball He’s participated in the West Linn Baseball Association. He tutors students at his school and is a member of Young Life. He became interested in the medical field after a serious back injury where he saw firsthand how physicians and specialists functioned in a clinical environment.

Satoshi Kosaka, Sourthridge High School
Roger Okamoto Scholarship
Oregon State University

Son of Takashi Kosaka. Satoshi attends the Portland Japanese Saturday School and has received a diploma. He’s a member of the Key Club where he tutors all ages of children in math and Japanese. He moved to the United States when he was in the fifth grade and is fluent in both Japanese and English. He’s an avid soccer player, lettering on the Varsity team and has played for the Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club. His high school team was the OSAA State champions. He’s interested in the field of mechanical engineering.

Kyle Nishida, Clackamas High School
Washington State University

Son of Lynn and Duane Nishida . Kyle is a member of National Honor Society and has worked as a news reporter, writer and photographer for his school newspaper. Kyle has take honors classes at his school. He has been a member of the 2010 State Champion Baseball team and a member of the 2010 Football team that completed its season without winning a game. He has volunteered as an after school tutor for high school students and participated in campus clean-up activities and distributed food to needy families. Kyle wants to study broadcasting and communications.

Regan Nishikawa, Reynolds High School
Art and Teri Iwasaki Scholarship
Oregon State University

Son of Vanessa Chakrallah and Terry Nishikawa. Regan is a member of National Art Honor Society. He has worked a swim meet timer and has participated in his church’s youth ministry. Regan is interested in pursuing a degree in the arts.

Madeline Ragozzino, LakeridgeHigh School
Mabel Shoji Boggs Scholarship
Western Oregon University

Daughter of Chikako and Matt Ragozzino. Maddie has volunteered at the Lake Oswego Library and has been a Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation District Counselor. She has worked in plays as both a behind the scenes tech and performer. She enjoys tutoring in her classes and plans to major in elementary education.

Kohei Sugimoto, Westview High School
Tsuya Minamoto Scholarship
Oregon State University

Son of Temyo and Koi Sugimoto. Kohei arrived in the United States from Japan seven years ago knowing no English. He has now become a fluent English speaker and writer. He has been a four year member of his high school soccer team and has run on the track team. For fun, he’s a member of the school’s breakdance club. He has participated in the technology education and engineering program at his high school and is working as the teacher’s assistant in the Computer Assisted Design class. Kohei wants to major in civil or architectural engineering.

Mrs. Alice Sumida has been a supporter of the Japanese American Graduation. Banquet. She is interested in encouraging our youth to continue their studies.

Mrs. Mark Sumida Awards were given to:

Schafer Durgan, Southridge High School
Portland State University

Son of Patty and Dan Durgan. Schafer has been co-president of Unite People. He’s participated in his school’s drama department. Schafer was a last minute replacement for a lead role in his school’s performance of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. He’s interested in studying Japanese and education.

Connor Johnston, Oregon Episcopal School
New York University

Son of Lynne and Craig Johnston. Connor played the role of Ichiro in Portland Center Stage’s production of Snow Falling on Cedars last year. This year he was the Scarecrow in OES’s production of the Wizard of Oz. Connor has taken classes at Oregon Children’s Theater. He wants to pursue a career in the performing arts.

Marcus Kirlin, International School of Beaverton
Portland State University

Son of Masayo and Mark Kirlin. Marcus is a fluent Japanese speaker. He has taken International Baccalaureate classes at his school and is a candidate for the IB diploma. He’s interested in attending Waseda University through the PSU exchange program. He plans to major in mechanical engineering and continue his Japanese studies.

Lucas O’Donnell, Tigard High School
Grand Valley State University

Son of Sharon and Brian O’Donnell. Lucas plays the trumpet with the Portland Youth Conservatory. He has also been a member of his school orchestra. His career goal is to be a professional musician.

Sandy Reid, Westview High School
Oregon State University

Daughter of John and Masayo Reid. She attends the Portland Japanese School and received her diploma. Sandy has taken piano lessons for 10 years. She has volunteered at the Bonnie Hayes Animal Shelter. She’s interested in the medical field.

Matthew Staib, Sunset High School
University of Oregon

Son of Sharon Inahara. He has taken classes in the International Baccalaureate Program. He was an intern at an ad agency in Honolulu. He has done sports modeling for Nike and Adidas. Mathew has participated in fundraising for Doctors Without Borders. He is interested in studying business and accounting.

Peter Wilson, Sunset High School
University of Montana

Son of Christi Iwasaki. Peter plays lacrosse and was a member of the Mock Trial Team at his school. He is a skilled yo-yo player and has taught others special tricks. He is interested in the field of psychology.

Allen Yoshinaga, Sam Barlow High School
Oregon Nisei Veteran’s Athletic Trophy
Oregon State University

Son Dr. Derrick and Alison Yoshinaga. Allen has been a four year member of his high school wrestling team and is this year’s team captain. He has won numerous matches and participated in the state tournament. He plays varsity tennis and was selected as the most inspirational player of his team. Allen has a third degree black belt in TaeKwondo. He plans to study microbiology.

The Japanese Banquet Committee has worked for many months to organize and plan this event. Sponsoring organizations include: Buddhist Daihonzan Henjyoji Temple, Epworth United Methodist Church, Gresham-Troutdale JACL, Japanese Ancestral Society, Nichiren Buddhist Temple, Nikkei Funjinkai, Oregon Buddhist Temple, Oregon Nisei Veterans, Portland JACL, Shokookai of Portland and the Veleda Club.

We are proud of our youth. Graduating from high school marks the beginning of new challenges and choices. Your family and community are here to encourage and support you.

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