Mile High Japanese American Citizens League

Articles

Congratulations High School Graduates!

by Mike Shibata

Denver July 6, 2015

The 60th Annual Japanese American Community Graduation Program (JACGP) Banquet to honor the high school graduates of 2015 was held on Saturday, June 13, at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities with approximately 220 people, including 14 graduates, in attendance.

The guest speaker for the evening was Ms. Traci Kato-Kiriyama. She is a third generation Sansei and native of Los Angeles. She has creative+ life practice that is directly tied to the communities who continue to ground and raise her. She is a writer, actor, theatre deviser and performance collaborator, educator, organizer and arts producer.

Among the 29 scholarships and awards presented was the Minoru and True Yasui Memorial Award, in honor of a founding member and leader of Mile High JACL. Other scholarships included the Toshiaki Yoshimura – Mile High Chapter JACL Scholarship, Mile High Chapter JACL Scholarship, and Mile High JACL – Harry Sakata Memorial Plaque.

Mr. Andrew Hamano awarded the Minoru and True Yasui Memorial Award to Mark Yamaguchi Bruski of Chatfield High School. He is the son of John and Ruth Bruski. Mark was in the Key Club and on the Cross Country team for four years. He has volunteered at Special Olympics Basketball the last three years of high school. He has attained the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America. When asked before the scholarship interviews, if you could meet anyone in the world (living or deceased), who would it be, Mark replied Mr. Minoru Yasui. Mark was also the recipient of the Japanese American Community Graduation Program Committee Award. He will attend Louisiana Tech University as a Biomedical Engineer major.

Mrs. Jayne Yoshimura presented the Toshiaki Yoshimura – Mile High Chapter Japanese American Citizens League Scholarship to Adyn Yamamoto of Prairie View High School. She is the daughter of Lyn Yamamoto. Adyn was a member of the National Honor Society and school’s Symphonic Band during her four years of high school. She has volunteered at the Brighton Japanese American Association Annual Shrimp/Chow Mein Dinner the past eight years. She will be attending the University of Denver, majoring in International or Asian Studies.

Mr. Harry Budisidharta presented the Mile High Chapter Japanese American Citizens League

Scholarship to Peter Douglas of Smoky Hill High School. He is the son of Elsa Burchinow. Peter was a three-year varsity athlete in lacrosse. He has been attending and participating in events at the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple all his life. He will be attending the University of Northern Colorado, majoring in Nursing. Peter was also the recipient of the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple Caroline M. Tagawa Memorial Scholarship Award, Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple Eugene and Kimiko Side Scholarship Award and Bob Kuya Tanaka Scholarship. He was also recognized for an outstanding essay on Shigata Ga Nai.

Mr. Brett Shibao, grandson of Harry Sakata, awarded the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League – Harry Sakata Memorial Plaque to Ryan Kiyoshi Kim of Smoky Hill High School. This is the scholarship which originally started the JACGP program sixty years ago and the recipient is selected based on his or her outstanding qualities of leadership and Japanese American community involvement. Ryan is a son of Frank Kim and Joyce Nakata Kim. He was a member of his school’s baseball team and a summer baseball team during his four years of high school. He was accepted in the Leeds Business School at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ryan was also the recipient of one of the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple Sakura Foundation Scholarships, Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple Taeko Tawara Memorial Scholarship Award, Japanese American Resettlement Through the Lens Award and Tomo Ida/Harry Ida Memorial Award.

Mile High JACL congratulates all of the Class of 2015 high school graduates and their parents!