|All photos courtesy Toyo Miyatake Studios|
|Lauren Naomi Iwata
2013 Nisei Week Queen
Gardena Evening Optimist Club
Lauren Naomi Iwata is 25 years old and graduated from the California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in human development and recently received her master’s degree in gerontology from the University of Southern California. Iwata is interning at Keiro Senior HealthCare to promote healthy aging among the Japanese American community. In her free time, she enjoys sightseeing, running half marathons, playing basketball, and building little cityscapes out of Lego. This year Iwata will support the Alzheimer’s Association as her platform.
|Ashley Mieko Honma
Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute
Ashley Mieko Honma is 24 years old and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in Japanese. She works part-time at BLC America and Green Energy Lighting Corporation as an administrative assistant. In her free time, Honma enjoys playing basketball, unwinding with good books and fashion magazines, attending R&B and indie music concerts, and traveling to new places. This year Honma will support Dec My Room Los Angeles as her platform.
Japanese Restaurant Association of America
Megumi Yuhara is 23 years old and graduated from the California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in music. She currently works as an administrative assistant for TriCom Quest, a professional recruitment agency, located in Gardena. Yuhara’s hobbies include: baking, creating music, reading about neurology, and wearing kimono. This year Yuhara will support the National Association for Music Education as her platform.
|Stephanie Megumi Fukunaga
West Los Angeles JACL & Venice Japanese Community Center
Stephanie Megumi Fukunaga is 22 years old and recently graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She volunteers at Kaiser Permanente with the intent to pursue a career as a physical therapist. In her spare time, Fukunaga enjoys trying new recipes, scrap booking, running, and advancing her yoga abilities. This year Fukunaga will support nonprofit, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which raises awareness to find a cure for breast cancer.
|Laura Akemi Higashi
Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council
Laura Akemi Higashi is 23 years old and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine as a double major in psychology and social behavior and criminology, law and society. Higashi is currently obtaining a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California. Her hobbies include: snowboarding, taking amateur photos of her adventures, and traveling to new places. This year Higashi will support the Orange County Ronald McDonald House as her platform.
|Jamie Tomiko Teragawa
East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
Jamie Tomiko Teragawa is 24 years old and attends the California State University, Los Angeles and is completing a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences to pursue a career in the medical field. In her spare time, Teragawa loves going to Disneyland, hiking, and watching live basketball games, especially so she can cheer against the Lakers. This year Teragawa will support the City of Hope as her platform.