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Japanese Cultural Society of Maui Awards $1,000 Scholarships to High School Seniors

L-R: Tiara Kobayashi-Bautista, JCSM President Deron Furukawa, Leslie Kimura.

The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui awarded $1,000 scholarships to outstanding high school seniors Leslie Kimura and Tiara Kobayashi-Bautista last month for their community involvement and efforts in perpetuating the Japanese culture.

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 shared her love for hula on the stages in Tokyo. She continues to advocate for the Japanese culture in her plans to attend New York University and enroll in their International Liberal Studies program.

Kobayashi-Bautista is a senior at Baldwin High School. Last year, she organized a Cultural Day at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center where she invited various Japanese organizations.  As a granddaughter of a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, she wanted to help promote Japanese traditions and cultural values.

“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]

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