Support The Thomatra Scott Scholarship Fund!

As the 2023 Black History Month comes to a close, JCYC is proud to once again launch the Thomatra Scott Scholarship campaign! A former JCYC staff member, Thomatra Scott or “Scotty” was an advocate for youth in education, health, housing, employment, human rights, prison reform, and racial justice until his passing in 2000. We would sincerely appreciate donations to this fund which will support the educational goals of Black youth participants from JCYC programs.

Scotty acted as an important bridge between the African American and Japanese American communities in San Francisco’s Western Addition. In 1969, at the height of the Black Power era, Scotty joined the Pan-African People’s Organization (PAPO) and served as a youth program coordinator for the Economic Opportunities Council’s (EOC) Multi-service Center. Scotty recognized that the challenges for many Black youth was a direct result of a poor educational system, and he counseled hundreds of boys being released from detention centers to enroll in remedial reading courses. In addition, Scotty was a founding member of the Westside Mental Health Center and a member of the Western Addition Council of Youth Serving Organizations.

In the twilight of his career, Scotty took a position with JCYC as a community organizer focused on preventing youth substance abuse. JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki reflected, “I happen to be at JCYC on my 18th birthday and Scotty gestured me to come over. He greeted me with a warm smile and stuck a voter registration form in my hand. For the first time, it made me think about the importance of standing up and making sure that my voice was counted. All of us at JCYC are honored to continue a scholarship in Scotty’s name and cannot think of an individual more worthy.”

JCYC would be grateful to our many friends and supporters who can contribute to the Thomatra Scott Scholarship. Donations can be made online at


or via check made out to “JCYC”. Please make sure to specify the Thomatra Scott Scholarship. Checks can be mailed to:

JCYC Administration

2012 Pine Street

San Francisco, CA 94115

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


2023 Nikkei Community Internship: Apply Today!

JCYC is happy to announce that applications for the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) have officially opened for 2023! Program dates will be from June 20 – August 11 and the application deadline is Sunday, April 2. Internships will be located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

The NCI program is a statewide initiative which supports the next generation of community leaders. This paid opportunity allows college students to support the work of community organizations while increasing their understanding of contemporary issues affecting Japanese Americans. To learn more, click here. Submit your application here.

If you have any questions, please email Erika Tamura at etamura@jcyc.org.


Encore Virtual Screening of “Empowered: The JCYC Story” and Q&A

Join us on December 7th at 7 PM PST for an Encore Virtual Screening of Empowered: The JCYC Story and Q&A with film director and JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki, Former JCYC Executive Director Jeff Mori and JCYC Deputy Director Julie Matsueda. The Q&A will be moderated by Wendy Tokuda.

Click here to RSVP!


JCYC College Access Programs 2022 Summer Program

JCYC College Access Programs had a fun and busy summer of programming for their middle and high school youth participants! Serving over 3,000 college bound students annually, JCYC College Access Programs held a variety of enriching and academic programming for their youth.

Our High School (HS) Advisors coordinated and held a hybrid Resilient Scholars Summer Program for rising 12th-grade students from Galileo, Burton, and Balboa High Schools. The goal of the summer program was to increase students’ exposure to college and build community with other students, while providing a support system for our students during their senior year in high school. Another goal for this program was to create a sense of belonging in college with tips on how to advocate for themselves and others that might need support in school and other areas of their lives.

Virtual learning also played an important role with this program. Some topics covered via Zoom were College 101, College Essays & Letters of Recommendations, Time-Management, and Civic Engagement, i.e., the importance of voting. The students were taken on a college campus visit to the University of California, Davis (UCD). For some of the students, this was their first time visiting UCD. JCYC ETS Participant from Galileo HS commented, “I like it because it gets me thinking about applying and what to look out for makes me feel more supported as well.”

Our Middle School (MS) Advisors organized two hybrid summer programs, one for San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) participants from MLK Jr., James Lick, and Francisco Middle Schools and the other for Thomas R. Pollicita Middle School in Daly City. The goal was for the participants to learn about TRIO (Educational Talent Search, a.k.a. ETS) program services available to them in high school in order to increase their college awareness in a fun way.

Both San Francisco and Daly City schools went to the San Francisco Aquarium where they could see, feel, hear and learn about marine life. The participants also visited college campuses, including Sonoma State University and San Francisco State University, to increase the college-going culture among our students.

JCYC College Access Programs’ fun and exciting summer did not stop there. JCYC College Access Programs’ Upward Bound (UB) program held its first in-person summer program in two years! A total of 33 students participated in our five-week commuter summer program at San Francisco State University, where students took various courses in English, Math, Lab Science, and even Lego Engineering. At the end of each week, the students had the chance to participate in a college campus tour at one of the many colleges in and around the Bay Area. In these five weeks, our students visited UC Santa Cruz, CSU East Bay, Sonoma State University, UC Davis, and Stanford University.

After the commuter portion of the summer program, our students had a chance to experience college dorm life during our residential week at San Jose State University. 15 students participated this summer, placed in one of four different Residential Advisor (RA) groups, and got a taste of what college life will be like. In addition to continuing their summer classes, students participated in a range of different activities, such as nightly activities around campus, the UB Olympics, and a UB Dance at the end of the week.

Overall, summer program was a great success, with many of our students expressing how much they enjoyed the summer and how much it helped them grow and come out of their shells. Students who at first were shy and reserved ended up forming new friendships with students from different schools and even expressed how much they enjoyed and had fun with the classes offered. This is really all a testament to all of the hard work that was done by the advisors, instructors, and RAs.

For more information about JCYC College Access Programs, go to https://jcyc.org, or call Program Director of JCYC College Access Programs Gina Gutierrez at (415) 921-5537.



2022 SF Aloha Run for Peace: Register & Fundraise Today!

JCYC’s 12th Annual SF Aloha Run will be both in-person and virtual! The in-person 5K or 10K run/walk is on Sunday, September 25th at Crissy Field in San Francisco, and the virtual side runs from Sunday, September 25th through Sunday, October 2nd.

Titled, SF Aloha Run for Peace, this year’s run is focused on bringing our communities together to stand in solidarity against war, hate, and racism. This is a unique opportunity for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to be a part of an uplifting and healthy activity which supports groups that are celebrating peace and addressing critical equity and social justice issues.

We hope to contribute to a global movement for peace, equity, and unity by engaging runners and walkers across the country with uplifting messages of peace, inclusion, and hope for communities who are impacted by the war on Ukraine or targeted and marginalized communities in America. The 2022 SF Aloha Run for Peace is a platform for all of us to educate and lead by example through individual acts of kindness and compassion. All participants will also receive a distinctive race technical t-shirt and medal.

2022 SF Aloha Run for Peace proceeds will be donated to Refugee & Immigrant Transitions,The Pōpolo Project, and will also provide scholarships for low-income, first generation college students through the JCYC Scholarship Programs.
Register and start fundraising today here! For more information, please contact JCYC Development Manager Tony Jenks at sfaloharun@jcyc.org or (415) 806-1909.


Save The Date for JCYC’s 5 Decade Celebration!

All of us at JCYC are excited to announce that our 5 decades of service to the children and youth of the San Francisco Bay Area will be celebrated at the iconic San Francisco War Memorial Building on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 7pmplease Save The Date!

We hope you can join our momentous celebration, and please stay tuned for more details!


Jon Osaki Honored in DC by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

On June 9th, JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki was honored in Washington, DC by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). Jon was selected to receive the APIAHF Health Equity Champion Community Advocate Award which was presented by Krystal Ka’ai, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on AANHPI. Also, in attendance and provided a welcome from President Biden was Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison.

The APIAHF award was reflective of Jon’s leadership and activism in the San Francisco Bay Area through JCYC and on a national scale through his award-winning film work that has lifted up critical issues about race and solidarity between communities of color. On his award, Jon said: “I am extremely grateful for this amazing recognition and thank the APIAHF for their efforts to promote understanding and opportunities for communities of color to work and build power together.”
APIAHF is the oldest and largest health advocacy organization working with AA & NH/PI communities across the nation, in the US Territories, and with the US‐affiliated Pacific jurisdictions. By providing policy and political analysis, research and data support, and effective communications strategies, APIAHF supports local AA & NH/PI communities to have an influence on local, state, and national policy. By providing grants, training, technical assistance, and consulting, APIAHF is a source of key resources so that communities can mobilize and grow stronger in their coalitions and organizational structures. For more information about APIAHF, please visit https://www.apiahf.org/.


Commonwealth Club of CA “Building A Future Of Black And Asian Coalition” In-Person Panel Event

On June 7th, JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki and an all-star cast of Black and Asian American leaders participated on the Commonwealth Club of California’s “Building A Future Of Black And Asian Coalition” in-person panel discussion. The event was co-moderated by Michelle Meow, Producer and Host of “The Michelle Meow Show” and Derick Brown, Senior Director of the University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center. Jon was joined by the following panelists:

  • Renard Monroe, Founder and Executive Director of Youth 1st and President and Founding Member of Invest Black;
  • Shakirah Simley, Executive Director of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center; and
  • Sarah Wan, Executive Director of the Community Youth Center. 

The panelists explored the need for and examples of solidarity between the Asian and Black communities. Jon commented on the key issues discussed during the panel and history of solidarity in San Francisco’s Western Addition: “The Black and Japanese American community in the Western Addition has a history of living and working together, lifting each other up and we are very proud of that.”
Check out the powerful discussion between our Asian and Black leaders here https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/video/building-future-black-and-asian-coalition.


SF Department of Children, Youth, and their Families Spotlights JCYC

The San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF) spotlighted JCYC through their We Are The City Spotlight campaign during their April Board Meeting.

DCYF is one of JCYC’s leading program grantors, and we are fortunate and honored that DCYF not only continues to provide vital funding to JCYC’s programs but also raised us up through their We Are The City Spotlight.

Each month, DCYF selects one of their grantee organizations to spotlight, and April was JCYC’s month to shine. The spotlight opened up with select members of JCYC’s leadership team joining DCYF’s Fireside Chat as a guest during DCYF’s April All Staff meeting. JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki, Director of Youth Workforce Programs Alvin Woo, and Program Director of Youth Development Erika Tamura had a wonderful discussion with the DCYF team. Check out the video of the Fireside Chat here https://bit.ly/3Pjogek.

Following the Fireside Chat, DCYF also highlighted JCYC through a Medium article here https://sf-dcyf.medium.com/we-are-the-city-spotlight-japanese-community-youth-council-17ed76dea9ff. Read the article now to learn more about JCYC’s founding and mission, evolution of our organization in the Japantown and wider Bay Area communities, and an overview of our core programs. Thank you DCYF for your continued partnership!


JCYC College Access Programs’ Newly Renovated Office

JCYC College Access Programs (JCYC CAP) has relocated to a new location on the second floor of the Buddhist Church of America (BCA) offices on Octavia Street in San Francisco! Located at 1710 Octavia Street, the newly renovated space is made up of 4 medium-to-large office rooms, a small waiting and reception area, a kitchen, 2 gender-neutral restrooms, a shared conference room on the third floor, and a comfortable breakroom for JCYC staff and advisors to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation during their busy workday. JCYC and the JCYC CAP team are very grateful for the support from Community Vision and funding from the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative to help make this happen.

JCYC CAP’s former office location in San Francisco, on Post Street had one large open plan for all 25 Educational Advisors to operate. With the new BCA location, the 4 office rooms containing 5-7 desks each is a welcomed upgrade. Improvements to the third floor conference room are also underway, which will be used by JCYC CAP for large student-parent events and staff meetings. 

The office space currently hosts JCYC CAP’s Educational Talent Search (ETS) and San Francisco College Access Center (SFCAC) Educational Advisors and the Administrative Team. While Educational Advisors are scheduled to work at their respective school-sites throughout the week, the office is a space where they can pick up supplies, drop off paperwork, participate in in-person staff meetings, and/or use as a work space. Currently, JCYC CAP’s monthly staff meetings are virtual as the need continues to ensure the health and safety of the staff.

Emalyn Lapus, the Administrative Director of JCYC CAP, is excited about the new site, “First, I am thankful for the support that JCYC Executive Director Jon Osaki and Deputy Director Julie Matsueda provided by obtaining external funding to pay for renovations and upgrades for this new office. I am also thankful to JCYC Fiscal and Admin Coordinator Carol Tam for her time and assistance with managing the relocation logistics. The new office with its many windows allows much natural lighting and is generating vibrancy for staff. ”

For more information about JCYC CAP’s new site, please contact Program Director of JCYC CAP Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@jcyc.org or Associate Director Arleen Garcia at agarcia@jcyc.org.