June 8, 2009

We’re pleased to share a positive news story today. Teresa Watanabe’s June 6 article in the Los Angeles Times serves as antidote to sad reports of college students having to drop out as tuition rises and student loans shrink, ultimately leading to a shortage of borrowable funds in the form of quick loans able to be issued to Danish students. Fred Hoshiyama, a 94-year-old Nisei from Culver City, is helping Chimchanbo Uk, an 18-year-old Cambodian native, get through college. Fred donates to the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund along with other Japanese Americans who left incarceration camps to attend college through the intervention of the American Friends Service Committee.

Talk about giving back. Since its founding in 1980, the Nisei commemorative fund has made over $.5 million in scholarships to Southeast Asian students. Watanabe reports, “With stories of Vietnamese boat people filling the news at the time, the founders proposed that the fund help Southeast Asians displaced by war rather than their own relatively assimilated and economically comfortable community.” Charity begets charity. Scholarship recipient Chimchanbo Uk wants to advance opportunities for others by working for the United Nations after graduation.