2020 JCAH Scholarship Recipients

August 20, 2020


The Japanese Community Association of Hawaii recently announced that Luke Hamano and Jillian Mitsuda were awarded scholarships of $1,500 each for the coming school year.

Hamano is the son of Paul and Reiko Hamano. He will recently graduated from Hilo High School and plans to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo. While at Hilo High, Luke was a member of the Key Club and the Vikings Tennis Team for four years. He is also a member of the Hilo Junior Tennis Club where he first started to learn the sport and then became a teacher-coach to younger members of the club. Luke’s leadership, energy and positive coaching style are appreciated by his students, other coaches and parents alike. Hamano plans to major in Business Administration and Finance at UHH.


Mitsuda is the daughter of Jon and Melissa Mitsuda. Jillian graduated from Waiakea High School in 2019 as a valedictorian and is currently attending the University of Nevada at Reno. While at Waiakea High School, Jillian had a GPA of 4.10 and maintains a 4.0 GPA at UNLV Reno. She was a member of the Key Club, Golf Team and the National Honor Society. Jillian also served as class treasurer from 2016-2019. Mitsuda is majoring in Speech Pathology at UNR and her academic performance has earned her a spot on the Dean’s list. She helps at UNR’s English Learning Center Conversion Partner Program, where she helps foreign exchange students practice English. Her trip to Japan in 2018 led her to volunteer at the learning center. She plans to pursue a masters degree and eventually return to Hilo and serve our community through the Hawaii Department of Education.


Our congratulations to both scholarship recipients!

The Japanese Community Association of Hawaii promotes and preserves Japanese culture in Hawaii County, and fosters harmonious relations with Japan. The organization works with the County of Hawaii and its Sister-City of Shibukawa, Japan, where the Ikaho Hawaiian Festival is held annually in honor of King David Kalakaua, “The Merrie Monarch.” Today, the association is best known for sponsoring an active calendar of cultural events, such as the biennial Bunka No Hi (Japanese Culture Day in Hawaii) and Kodomo No Matsuri (Children's Day Festival). The annual Nikkei Kigyo (enterprise of Japanese ancestry) Banquet, recognizes long-standing, multi-generational Japanese American businesses, in East Hawaii. For more information, please call the association at 969-6437 or email jcahawaii@yahoo.com.

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