High school seniors Leslie Kimura and Tiara Kobayashi-Bautista were awarded $1000 scholarships last month for their community involvement and efforts in perpetuating the Japanese culture. The scholarships were awarded by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, which aims to perpetuate Japanese culture on the Valley Isle.
Kobayashi-Bautista, a senior at Baldwin High School, organized a Cultural Day at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center last year. She invited various Japanese organizations to the event. As a granddaughter of a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, she wanted to help promote Japanese traditions and cultural values.
Kimura is a senior at Seabury Hall whose school project was ikebana (art of Japanese flower arrangement). She was an exchange student in Okinawa, Japan. She is also a Merrie Monarch dancer and has danced hula in Tokyo. She plans to continue advocating for the Japanese culture at New York University where she is enrolled in their International Liberal Studies program.
“Through fundraising efforts of our organization’s volunteers, we aim to provide more scholarships in the future,” said JCSM President Deron Furukawa. “The scholarship program helps us fulfill our mission to preserve the Japanese culture, by supporting our leaders of tomorrow.”
Established in 1969, the JCSM is a nonprofit organization, which aims to perpetuate the Japanese culture on Maui. Interested donors who wish to support its scholarship program may contact the Scholarship Chair Sandy Hirata at [email protected]
Photo courtesy of JCSM