This year we have three outstanding recipients of the Seattle Hiroshima Club Scholarship, who were presented to the membership at our annual New Years’ celebration. Following is a brief description of the three honorees.

Michelle Mee-June Lee

Daughter of Masako Murakami Lee
Granddaughter of Motoe and Tsuyoshi Murakami
Student at Shorecrest High School, Shoreline

Despite taking a challenging academic course of studies each year of high school, consisting of a minimum of 3 to 4 Honors/Advanced Placement/College in the High School classes each term, Michelle has been able to maintain a 3.96 cumulative grade point average. And as one teacher shares, “Michelle’s organizational and study skills are outstanding.” Not only is Michelle a member of the school’s National Honor Society but she was designated as an AP Scholar in 2012.

In addition to taking a rigorous academic program, Michelle has chosen to participate in several school-related activities including a year on the swim and jv tennis teams. For the past four years, she has been a member of the Shorecrest Key Club, and is now the president of the Shorecrest International Club. Music is an important part of her life, as she has played the piano for ten years, and now is in her seventh year of studying violin. For the past four years she has been a member of the school’s orchestra, as well as playing earlier in the Seattle Youth Symphony.

Since September 2011 Michelle has been on the Lake Forest Park Youth Court. Also she has volunteered with the Foundation of International Understanding Through Students program. In addition, Michelle has several tutoring commitments, in math as well as well as in teaching basic violin techniques.

At this time Michelle is interested in pursuing an education in Computer Science and Engineering, and hopes to use her multilingual talents by working in Asia in the future.

Lauren Nicole Paulsen

Daughter of Chris and Karen Suzuki Paulsen
Granddaughter of Paul and Jean Tsukamaki Suzuki
Great-granddaughter of Toyoki and Misao Kato Tsukamaki
Student at Skyline High School, Sammamish, WA

Since grade 9 Lauren has challenged herself by consistently enrolling in five academic classes each term, many of them following the curriculum set forth in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. Yet, she has been able to maintain a 3.967 grade point average, and is a member of her school’s National Honor Society.

Coming from a family of skiers, Lauren is extremely athletic. For the past four years she has been on the Skyline High School Swim and Dive Team, earning the “Most Improved Swimmer” award in grade 10. Out of school, she has been a member of the Girl Scouts all through her high school years, and this year began volunteering for the Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol. Another new athletic pursuit for the past two years includes
competing for the Eastside Composite Mountain Bike Team. Her coach cites her rapid rise as “exceptional” as “it became clear that Lauren was willing to do the hard work required to build her riding skills and fitness.”

After graduation from a four year university, Lauren’s future plans include attending medical school, and becoming a pediatrician.

Daniel Akira Smith

Son of Sharon Nayematsu Hancock
Grandson of Ethel Taniguchi Nayematsu
Great-grandson of Masaru Taniguchi and Shizuka Taniguchi LaGrange
Student at Newport High School, Bellevue WA

A normal high school class load is usually taking six classes a day, but upon examination of Daniel’s school record he has always taken seven classes, many of which are designated Honors, Advanced Placement, or Running Start (college level). Despite this academic load Daniel has been able to maintain a 4.000 grade point average.

In addition to his academic prowess, Daniel has been a two-sport varsity participant during his high school career, as well as playing select soccer in the community realm. Each of these sporting commitments usually requires a minimum of two to three hours a day of practice and workout time during the season, plus the hours spent in the actual competitions.

Through his success in the classroom as well as in his athletic pursuits, Daniel has earned a number of honors including All-County 1st Team for Soccer, AP Scholar with Honor, and the school’s National Honor Society. Volunteer activities include being a camp counselor, and a NHS peer tutor. In his sophomore year, Daniel earned NHS Knight Valor for his 224 hours of community service. His premier soccer team placed third in the nation last year, and is poised to play for a national title this year.

Daniel has been accepted to Harvard for the Fall of 2013, but at this time is undecided in what he would like to pursue.