JACL Scholarships Program

JACL Scholarships Program – National Scholarships and Awards

Deadline:  April 1

The JACL began its National Scholarship and Awards Program in 1946. The program currently offers over 30 awards,with an annual total of about $60,000 in scholarships to qualified students nationwide.The National Scholarship and Awards Program offer scholarships to students at the entering freshman, undergraduate,graduate, law, financial need and creative & performing arts. All scholarships are one-time awards.


  • Every applicant must be an active National JACL member at either an Individual or  Student/Youth Level.  Parent membership will not meet this requirement.  Applications are available on our website.
  • Applicants must be planning to attend a college, university, trade school, business school, or any other institution of higher learning within the United States at the undergraduate or graduate school

Magoichi & Shizuko Kato Memorial Scholarship – Originally from Peru, the Kato family settled in Los Angeles, California where they owned a successful grocery business.  This award was established by Mrs. Kato in memory of her husband.  Preference for this award will be given to a student planning a career in medicine or ministry.

Henry & Chiyo Kuwahara Memorial Scholarship – This award was established by the estate of Henry and Chiyo Kuwahara.  Mr. Kuwahara, a resident of Los Angeles, was a well-known investment and securities broker in Little Tokyo.

Railroad and Mine Workers Memorial Scholarship – Established by the families of Japanese American railroad and mine workers to pay tribute to the lives of these Issei and Nisei pioneers.  This scholarship memorializes the story of these workers, who were fired from their jobs after the outbreak of World War II and their children’s successful fight for recognition and justice decades later.

Reverend H. John Yamashita Memorial Scholarship  – Reverend Yamashita, prior to WWII was pastor of the Oakland West 10th Methodist Church.  A native of Oakland, California, Reverend Yamashita founded a hostel for Japanese Americans returning to the West Coast after internment.  He went to pastor at the Centenary Methodist Church in Los Angeles, until his retirement in 1966.

Minoru Yasui Memorial Scholarship  – A civil rights advocate and attorney, Minoru Yasui was one of the three Nisei who challenged the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII.  After the war, Mr. Yasui practiced law and served as legal counsel dozens of community activities.  In 1979, Mr. Yasui was appointed chair of the JACL Committee on Redress, in which he traveled extensively around the country advocating for redress and reparations.  Preference for this scholarship will be given to students with a strong interest in Human Rights and Civil Rights.  Fields of study may include sociology, law or education.

Abe and Esther Hagiwara Student Aid Award  – Founded to provide financial assistance to a student who otherwise would have to delay or terminate his/ her education due to a lack of financing.  Only applicants that exhibit severe financial need will be considered for this award.

For more information, including an application, please visit JACL’s website.

(updated 2.1.17)

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