KAHULUI, Hawaii – As an update to its previous announcement, the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui has increased the amount from $1000 to $1,500 for the Asa Ellison Memorial Scholarship, for the applicant who has shown grit in learning and in the perpetuation of the Japanese language.

Thanks to the generous donation of $1000 from John and Pamela Lezo, Ellison’s brother-in-law and sister, a portion of the amount will also be dedicated for the 2021 scholarship program cycle under Asa Ellison’s name.

Ellison was a former president of JCSM who suddenly passed away from pancreatic cancer in March of this year. JCSM will also award three more $1000 non-academic, cultural scholarships to selected recipients who graduated from a High School in Maui this year. 

The deadline to apply is Oct. 15. For more information and to download the application form, go to jcsmaui.org.

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Aug. 16 PRESS RELEASE:

Applications sought for cultural scholarship, late president Asa Ellison honored

KAHULUI, Hawaii – The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui has launched its 2020 round of scholarship applications, which is a $1000 non-academic, cultural scholarship that calls for students who graduated from a High School in Maui this year. 

JCSM will vet and select three applicants who have a record of community involvement, specifically in the perpetuation of the Japanese culture, and have an intent to continue. This could be in performing or martial arts, Japanese crafts, preservation of traditional customs, culinary, visual arts and anime, pop culture, fashion, business and technology, history, and many others. 

And beginning this year, JCSM will also select one $1000 recipient of the Asa Ellison Memorial Scholarship Award for an applicant who has shown grit in learning and in the perpetuation of the Japanese language. 

JCSM honors its late president Asa Ellison who unexpectedly passed away in March because of cancer. Ellison was a tour guide with JTB, an amazing photographer and has served on the JCSM board for many years. He began learning Nihonggo as a student of then-Maui Community College and fully embraced the Japanese culture since. Ellison spoke Japanese fluently and often shared about the importance of perpetuating the language in JCSM’s mission. 

“The organization mourns our dear friend Asa’s passing, and coupled with the challenges brought by the pandemic, our scholarship program is a bit late this year – but better late than never,” said Deron Furukawa who serves as an interim president. “It’s a difficult time for everyone and we know the money will help. We also decided to honor Asa’s memory and his love for the Japanese language by supporting our scholars.”

The Asa Ellison Memorial Scholarship is given to an applicant who may be studying the language, teaching the language, or has demonstrated commitment to use the language moving forward. Eligibility and requirements to apply are the same.

The application form is available on jcsmaui.org and the deadline to submit is October 15. Email jcsmhawaii@gmail.com for inquiries. 

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