Pocket resident wants to make Magic

Photo by May Okuhara

Photo by May Okuhara

Ever since he was an infant, Pocket resident Wes Okuhara could hardly wait for the annual family jaunt to Disneyland. The soon-to-be CK McClatchy graduate will soon embark on realizing his dream and hopefully one day work for Disney as an Imagineer. His parents, May and Ken, wondered if he played too many video games as a child. Well, apparently it paid off.

“Growing up, I frequently visited the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ or Disneyland, and it really was a ‘happy’ place for me. Eventually, I was motivated to develop this passion into a potential career. Combining my skill in math and science and love for Disney, I am inspired to pursue a path as an Imagineer. I want people to be happy too!” Okuhara says.

Imagineering is responsible for designing and building Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues at all levels of project development. Imagineers possess a broad range of skills and talents, and thus more than 140 different job titles fall under the banner of Imagineering, including illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers, graphic designers, and many more. Okuhara would like to focus on engineering animation, which is fascinating to him.

Okuhara will attend the University of California, San Diego this fall where he will major in Computer Science and Engineering. At McClatchy, Okuhara is enrolled in the Humanities and International Studies Program (HISP). HISP is a rigorous honors program that teaches students to explore global perspectives on learning, study college-level literary works and ideas, and prepares them for the rigors of college.

Okuhara is a member of the National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Key Club, Fair Trade Club, and Japanese Club. He carries a weighted 4.3 GPA. He is also the team captain for the McClatchy varsity golf team where he recently earned Metro League MVP, All-League (for the second year in a row), and McClatchy Senior Student/Athlete awards. Okuhara currently has a 4.0 NCGA golf index and wants to improve his short game this summer. He hopes to continue his golf career at UCSD.

Okuhara is also an Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 50 (sponsored by the Sacramento Betsuin Church). As a Life Scout, Okuhara planned, organized, and supervised his Eagle Scout project by replacing a large turf area with a new decomposed granite parking lot at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church. He also installed new landscaping around the parking lot and a drip irrigation system. His project logged a total of 331 hours. A long-time Walnut Grove resident commented to him that she had not seen the church look so vibrant in over 40 years.

One of many Pocket students on the journey to realizing a dream and make people happy along the way.

Elks Lodge No. 6 honored students and educators with scholarships

On Thursday, May 10, the Sacramento Elks 6 honored students and educators at their annual scholarship dinner. The event opened with a welcome from Stephen B. Clazie,
Scholarship Chair, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troop 259, an invocation by Chaplain Valerie Keyser, and a prime rib dinner served by JFK criminal justice students.

The following is information provided by the Elks Lodge about each of the awardees.

Elks #6 Educators of the Year

Outstanding Middle School Educator for 2013
Mrs. Mikila Fetzer, Genevieve Didion K-8 School

Outstanding High School Educator for 2013
Ms. Lori Jablonski,  C.K. McClatchy High School

Sacramento City Teachers Association  & Elks #6 Scholarships

Presented by Debbie Eto, Exalted Ruler

Elks #6 & Boy Scout Troop 259

Eagle Scout Scholarship
Presented by Debbie Eto, Exalted Ruler

Dillon S. Thomas, C.K. McClatchy High School, $700

Mark A. Thompson, John F. Kennedy High School, $700

Elks #6 Golf Club Scholarship
Wes Okuhara,  C.K. McClatchy High School, $500
Chloe Kashiwagi, C.K. McClatchy High School, $500

Elks #6 Middle School Scholarships
Presented by Debbie Eto, Exalted Ruler

Tilton Hoyt, Sutter Middle School

He strives not only to do ‘A’ work but makes it as creative and original as possible. He is continually thinking outside the box.  He participates in spirit activities, has joined clubs and plays soccer.  He is involved in his local church and does community service.  He is an all-around student that would serve as a role model for our community.

Emily Louie, Genevieve Didion K-8 School
She is co-captain of the cheerleaders and has been a Girl Scout for eight years.  As a Girl Scout, she volunteered at the Special Olympics and distributed Girl Scout cookies for her church. She coordinated the collection of donated materials for military officers stationed overseas.  She earned a level four certificate of merit for piano, and was Elks 6’s April Student of the Month for Didion K-8 School.

Dipp Nguyen, Will C. Wood Middle School
This year, she has participated in Mathletes, MESA , Club Live, Korean Club, and Book Club.  In these numerous endeavors, she strives to uphold leadership roles.  She is team captain of her robotics team, treasurer of Korean Club, and president of Club Live.  Her commitment to these organizations shows her dedication to bettering herself and her peers.

Sacramento Elks #6  Elks National “Most Valuable Student” 2013
Presented by Debbie Eto, Exalted Ruler

Daniel Mingrue Li
As a junior at John F. Kennedy High School, he started the International Student Society, and the club has collaborated with Amnesty International. The group is starting an international women’s rights campaign.  He had a very unique opportunity of traveling across the world to Sacramento’s sister city in China as a youth ambassador.
(DISTRICT $400 & STATE $800 & $1,500 from Emblem Club and $36 from Elks 6 for a total of $2,736)

Keegan Pincombe
He has always been a positive force for hard work.  He has been in the Sacramento Children’s Choir, a youth ambassador to China through a Sister Cities program, and is an Eagle Scout. (STATE $800 & $1,500 from Emblem Club $436 from Elks 6 for a total of $2,736). John F. Kennedy High School

Derek Taylor
He is intensely competitive as an athlete and compassionate as a citizen.  He is wise beyond his years.  He will make his mark in the world in a way that will be both significant and positive.
($1,500 from Emblem Club & $1,236 from Elks 6 for a total of $2,736)
C.K. McClatchy High School

Keiko Jordan Fong
She completed the highest level of math C.K. McClatchy offers by her junior year, and as high school senior received an A in Math 402 at Sacramento City College.  She is an athlete, Girl Scout and accomplished musician, a professional math tutor, artist and an active member of he church group.  She also performs a wide variety of community service, both independently and with her dance troop, often entertaining the elderly at nursing homes.
($1,500 from Emblem Club & $1,236 from Elks 6 for a total of $2,736)
C.K. McClatchy High School

Christina Fang
She assists in the UC Davis Medical Center Trauma Department by performing basic patient care and completing clerical duties.  As a true leader, she is also humble and listens to other’s input.
(ENF SCHOLAR $1,000 for four years for a total of $4,000)
West Campus High School

Allison Yamamoto
Her passion for educational equality empowered her to initiate a volunteer tutoring program at my local library. The positive feedback she received from parents was overwhelming.  She has learned that she can create positive change in my community when there is passion motivating that change.
(ENF SCHOLAR $1,000 for four years for a total of $4,000)
C.K. McClatchy High School

The Gunther & Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship
The Elks National Foundation is pleased to offer an exclusive scholarship opportunity just for Elks scholars pursuing a medical degree. The Gunther & Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship will go to six Elks scholars (current or alum) entering the first year of medical school in 2013-14. The $20,000 scholarships were established through the generosity of Lee Weigel, widow of Gunther Weigel. Lee lost her husband of 51 years in November 2009. Gunther was a longtime member of Miami, Fla., Elks Lodge No. 948. He was passionate about the Foundation’s scholarship programs. Lee established these scholarships to help Elks scholars pursue a career in medicine. The application will be available in mid-March 2013 and will be due in mid-May 2013. If you are an Elks scholar pursuing a medical degree starting in 2013-14, email scholarship@elks.org for more information.