President's Greeting




Akiko Agishi

Founder and


My heartfelt welcome to all of you to the Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration!! On behalf of the Aurora Board of Directors and Officers, I am delighted to share this special milestone occasion with you all.


The years have flown by quickly.  We experienced moments that were challenging however, majority of which were simply wonderful.  When I think of the JLSF inaugural dinner and the concert with my dear friend, Masashi Sada, it feels like just yesterday!  It was a very happy and truly ambitious beginning.


Since that auspicious first event, we have had the honor and pleasure of hosting many renowned artists from Japan. These marvelous performers have delighted us with their remarkable talents and inspired us by sharing in our dedication to the JLSF goals.  We sincerely hope that through the concerts, JLSF Scholarships, Challenge Grant along with other Aurora Foundation programs such as the All - USA High School Japanese Language Speech Contests, Japanese top ranked Movies Shows, Golf Tournaments led by late George Aratani & George Sugimoto (Aurora Foundation's Board of Governors who continues to enjoy playing golf at 94), have enriched the lives of our Southern California community.  And speaking of our wonderful community, none of Aurora's dreams would have been possible without the support of each one of you and for that I am truly grateful. 


JLSF scholarship recipients are Aurora Ambassadors of great possibilities and valuable members of the Aurora Family!  Over the past 25 years, we have sent one hundred one Aurora Japanese Language Scholarship, Challenge Grants, and Speech Contest winners to Japan.  These are still modest numbers, however with the scope of our vision and the strength of their commitment, we are enthusiastic and hope that these efforts have made positive contributions to strengthen the understanding between Japan and the USA.  The youth of today remains as our hope for tomorrow and I believe we must do our part to help them by nurturing quality educators.


As we begin our third decade together, let's renew our commitment to the JLSF mission and pledge to continue our effort to fill the universe with the benefits of this meaningful work.


After serving 25 years as the President & Founder, I have decided to move on to the next stage of my life! When I was a Fulbright Scholar and earned my Doctorate Degree in Higher Education at UCLA, I never would have imagined that the Aurora Foundation could be established.  I treasure all the support and kindness that the entire community has extended to me throughout my tenure. I hope to be able to support the new acting President, Tak Itomi and new Board members as the Founder and am excited to witness the new incoming generation's creative vision growing and blossoming towards a new world in harmony.


Please accept my sincere thanks for all your efforts. Happy 25th Anniversary to the Aurora Foundation!  And now please enjoy this finale concert and special gathering with all our friends, volunteers, and community leaders and supporters!




President & Founder
Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation
(DBA: Aurora Foundation)