Japanese American Veterans Association creates Inouye scholarship
The Japanese American Veterans Association established a $5,000 memorial scholarship honoring the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s iconic career of public service in the military and government.
The scholarship, to be awarded this summer, will go to the applicant who, in the judgment of the awards committee, has best shown, in his or her educational planning, a career path toward public service.
The special annual scholarship will be funded from the association’s investment income. The initiative won ready approval from JAVA’s Executive Council and from the Inouye Institute, which oversees the Senator’s estate concerns.
The creation of the Inouye scholarship was one of several changes JAVA made for 2014 to its popular and growing scholarship program.
It was the initiative of the outgoing chairman of the organization’s scholarship committee, Dr. Ray Murakami. He is being succeeded by Wade Ishimoto, who also serves as JAVA’s vice president.
Unlike many of the JAVA memorial scholarships established by the families of deceased members and now administered to benefit high school graduates, the competition for the Inouye award will be open exclusively to advance undergraduate, graduate and professional school students engaged in an academic program that will lead to public service.
Each applicant for the Inouye prize will be required to submit a 500-word essay detailing his or her career goal and the plan to achieve it.
Scholarship committee officials announced, as in the past, contestants for any of the JAVA scholarships who are descendants and can trace their ancestry directly to those who served in the 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT, and the MIS nation’s Armed Forces will continue to be eligible to apply. However, for the first time, individuals who are collaterally related, e.g., one who has a nephew/niece relationship, will also be eligible.
Other additional categories of eligibility will be continued.
In the case only of the Inouye scholarship, the committee decided, in addition, to invite applications from any past and present members of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, who can otherwise qualify. In fact, JAVA also hopes to attract applicants who are in college ROTC programs.
Qualified undergraduates are likely to have interest in another major change in the JAVA scholarship offering.
With the approval of Connie Ishio, widow of Col. Phil Ishio, USAR, a decision was made to establish a Founders Scholarship in the amount of $3,000, in the names of Phil and Douglas Ishio, father and son.
Previously, separate scholarships were offered in their names.
Phil Ishio was the founder of JAVA. The Ishio scholarship will be offered for the first time exclusively to college undergraduates who completed at least two years of studies.
The main features of the JAVA memorial scholarship program will continue as it has in the past, except for the expanded eligibility rule for collateral kin.
Six of the $1,500 scholarships available to 2014 high school graduates are fully funded for 2014.
An additional scholarship in this category was recently established through the special efforts of Judge Raymond Uno of Salt Lake City. He arranged to provide a $15,000 gift to JAVA to establish a scholarship in memory of CWO Mitsugi Kasai, a career Army officer, who, in retirement, actively worked to exhibit in the Salt Lake City area memorabilia of Japanese American World War II history.
JAVA’s scholarship committee’s decision to enlarge the pool of potential applicants this year recognizes the fact that with the passage of time, the generational distance widened. In response, and to make the program more attractive to a larger number of students, it was decided the qualification and classification rules should be eased to open the competition to a larger pool of college level students.
The complete rules and application forms will be posted on the JAVA website in mid- to late February, and details about the 2014 program will also be available at that time through the RoundRobin weekly news bulletin and in the Advocate.
Persons interested in applying for scholarships, and others with questions about the program are asked to defer their inquiries until they have a chance to review the published rules and forms.
As the final date for receiving applications will be Saturday, May 31, there should be ample time for inquiries
The names of the awardees of the Inouye, Ishio and memorial scholarship awards will be announced at the annual JAVA scholarship luncheon in July on the East Coast.
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