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Eleven Class of 2015 graduates receive $1,000 scholarships

By Staff | Jul 16, 2015

Among the 2015 recipients of scholarships from Maui AJA Veterans Inc. and Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans are (from left) Christopher Kim, Erin Murashige, Gina Marzo, Teeshawna Amor-Mashino, Chantelle Baclay, Jaclyn Quedding and Chase Nakagawa. Not present for this picture were Princess Bonilla, Liana Tanaka, Kaylee Thompson and Cuong Tran. PHOTO BY MELANIE AGRABANTE.

WAILUKU – Eleven recent graduates of Maui high schools will move on to higher education with some help from the Maui AJA Veterans Inc. and Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans.

Each received a $1,000 scholarship. A luncheon for the recipients was held June 27 at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center.

The recipients, their high schools, the schools they plan to attend and their parents are:

Chantelle Baclay, Lahainaluna High School, Pacific University, daughter of Ryan and Jacqueline Baclay of Lahaina;

Gina Marzo, Maui Preparatory Academy, Whitman College, daughter of Eugene and Jill Marzo of Lahaina;

Cuong Tran, Lahainaluna, University of Hawaii at Manoa, son of Tom Tran and Tuyen Nguyen of Lahaina;

Teeshawna Amor-Mashino, King Kekaulike High School, University of Portland, daughter of Aisley Mashino of Makawao and Murphy Amor of Kahului;

Princess Bonilla, Baldwin High School, Chaminade University, daughter of Elepisio and Marylou Bonilla of Wailuku;

Christopher Kim, Maui High School, Yale University, son of Sung Yun and Kyung Sook Kim of Kahului;

Erin Murashige, Baldwin, UCLA, daughter of Joyce and the late Clyde Murashige of Kula;

Chase Nakagawa, Kamehameha Schools Maui, University of Portland, son of Eric and Karene Nakagawa of Kihei;

Jaclyn Quedding, Maui High, University of Hawaii Maui College, daughter of Marlon and Marites Quedding of Kahului;

Liana Tanaka, Maui High, Pacific University, daughter of Jennifer Phillips of Kahului; and

Kaylee Thompson, Kamehameha Schools Maui, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, daughter of Rebecca Gomes of Haiku.

Scholarship criteria include academic achievement, activities, service, financial need and a personal statement regarding Nisei veterans’ contributions to our community and how the student might contribute to the betterment of our island community.

The sponsors normally give ten scholarships a year, but the number of recipients was increased to 11 because of the quality of the applicants and because the sponsors had the resources.

The veterans group’s support is from money it has accumulated through many years of fundraising, donations it has received and its investments. The sons and daughters group raises scholarship funds through its annual Chrysanthemum Festival, which also supports historical preservation and other programs.

Murashige was the queen of the 2013 Chrysanthemum Festival.

Nisei refers to the second generation of Japanese in America. AJA stands for Americans of Japanese Ancestry.

The scholarships are awarded without regard to race, color, religion or ethnicity.

Maui AJA Veterans was formed in 1947 by Japanese-American veterans of World War II. The veterans wanted to continue their camaraderie, serve their community, honor fallen comrades and promote opportunities for youth.

Formed in 1981, Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans is a nonprofit organization that perpetuates the memory and accomplishments of Japanese-American soldiers of World War II.