2022 Kyoto Symposium Organization Has Brought $4 Million in Scholarships and Educational Opportunities to San Diego and Baja California

This year’s scholarship recipients include 31 college-bound high-school students from San Diego and Tijuana, PLNU’s STEM scholars, and UC San Diego’s pre-college program

Photo by: Kyoto Prize

San Diego – February 28, 2022 – The Kyoto Prize is Japan’s highest private award for lifetime achievement in advanced technology, basic science, and the arts and philosophy. It is considered by many only second to the Nobel Prize. The prize is given each November in Kyoto, Japan, by the Inamori Foundation, which was established by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the founder of Kyocera International.

Every spring, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, the Inamori Foundation Board, and Kyoto Prize Laureates gather in San Diego for a three-day symposium of lectures, presentations, and celebrations. This year, the event will be held March 30 to 31, 2022, both virtually and in-person, at UC San Diego providing opportunities to network, listen in, and learn from influential and inspirational leaders at the top of their respective fields. This is also when the Kyoto Symposium Organization(KSO) awards its scholarship recipients.

In 2020, with generous support from the Inamori Foundation, the UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies (DES) developed a scholarship to enable talented youth to pursue scholarly activities in the same disciplines as Kyoto Prize international awardees. Scholarship recipients are subject to a rigorous and highly competitive application process. Those who successfully complete the program receive pre-college credit and in the case of Research Scholars, capstone projects are published archived on the DES Research Scholars website. “Over the last two years, 145 students have been awarded over $290,000 dollars in scholarships to participate in the widely lauded Research Scholars and Academic Connections, among other pre-college programs” said Edward Abeyta, Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Director, Pre-Collegiate and Career Preparations Programs at UC San Diego Extension. “It’s been our honor to be a partner with the Inamori Foundation and KSO to recognize young talent and continue on the honorarium of Dr. Inamori.”

Over the past 21 years, KSO has awarded $4 million in scholarships and educational opportunities to San Diego and Baja California public and private high school students. Honorees include college-bound students from both sides of the San Diego and Tijuana border, UC San Diego’s pre-college program and Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) STEM

North America benefits uniquely from our Kyoto Prize Symposium. Along with Oxford for Europe, San Diego is honored to be one of only two Kyoto Prize hosts outside of Japan,” said Richard H. Davis, Executive Director, Kyoto Symposium Organization. “The Inamori Foundation provides valuable support for each of our co-host universities: UC San Diego and PLNU through their scholarship programs. And each year our “Kyoto” scholarship recipients from San Diego and Tijuana impress and inspire us – carrying on the legacy of Dr. Kazuo Inamori and his life’s work.

This year’s “Kyoto” scholarship applicants were asked to learn about one of the 2021 Kyoto Prize Laureates (Advanced Technology: Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Computer Science
Basic Sciences: Prof. Robert G. Roeder, Biology; Arts & Philosophy: Prof. Bruno Latour, Philosophy) and write three short essays describing how the Laureate’s work inspires their own life, their study or career plans.

Prof.  Andrew Chi-Chih Yao
Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao
Prof. Robert G. Roeder
Prof. Robert G. Roeder
Prof. Bruno Latour
Prof. Bruno Latour

2021-2022 KSO Scholarship Recipients - San Diego

Out of 95 qualified applicants in San Diego County, the top nine applicants were selected through an interview process with the Kyoto Prize Symposium Scholarship Committee, and from there, the top three recipients were chosen. The following three high-school students from the San Diego region will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship paid to their university of choice:

Raj Pabari, Classical Academy High School (Escondido, 92025)

Raj Pabari (Advanced Technology)
Raj Pabari (Advanced Technology)

Emerson Utgarrd, Henry High School (San Diego, 92120)

Emerson Utgaard (Basic Sciences)
Emerson Utgaard (Basic Sciences)

Sheyla Rodriguez, Chula Vista High School (Chula Vista, 91911)

Sheyla Rodriguez (Arts & Philosophy)
Sheyla Rodriguez (Arts & Philosophy)

2021-2022 KSO Scholarship Recipients - Tijuana, Baja California, México

Through Fundación Internacional de la Comunidad A.C., three MXN-100,000 ($5,000 U.S. dollars) scholarships in Baja California will be awarded to:

Raúl Carmona, CETYS

Raúl Carmona (Arts & Philosophy)
Raúl Carmona (Arts & Philosophy)

Camila Sánchez, Instituto México de Baja California

Sofia Camila Sánchez Castro (Arts & Philosophy)
Sofia Camila Sánchez Castro (Arts & Philosophy)

Diego Velázquez, Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas

Diego Velazquez (Basic Sciences)
Diego Velazquez (Basic Sciences)
“The Kyoto Prize Symposium Scholarship Committee is committed to awarding students who embody the spirit of the Kyoto Prize,” Bonnie Kime Scott, Ph.D, San Diego State University, Professor of Women’s Studies (Retd.), Kyoto Prize Symposium Scholarship Committee Member. “Hundreds of high school students from both Tijuana and San Diego apply each year—many of whom aspire to a career in one of the Kyoto Laureates’ fields. These students impress us with their initiative and originality, as they advance their research projects and work for the betterment of their schools and the wider community.”

Key Stats About the Kyoto Symposium Organization

  • For 20 years, San Diego has been privileged to serve as the only North American venue for the Kyoto Prize.

    [li]Has provided $4.0 million in college scholarships to San Diego students (includes Inamori Foundation funds to host universities for scholarships).

  • Through generous support from the Inamori Foundation, UC San Diego has awarded $290,000 to 145 Inamori Scholars through their pre-college program. PLNU has awarded $535,000 in scholarships and research materials to 99 Inamori Scholars in STEM fields since 2011.
  • KSO also brings to San Diego three new Laureates, many of whom seldom leave Asia or Europe.
  • Has bused over 10,000 San Diego and Tijuana high school students to Laureate presentations at our co-host universities, inspiring them to continue their education in college.
  • For more information on the Kyoto Symposium Organization scholarships and the upcoming Kyoto Prize Symposium, please visit [/li]

About the Kyoto Prize

The Kyoto Prize is presented each year by Japan’s non-profit Inamori Foundation to individuals and groups worldwide who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the betterment of society, in “Advanced Technology,” “Basic Sciences,” and “Arts and Philosophy.” The prize consists of academic honors, a gold medal, and a cash gift of 100 million yen (more than $900,000) per category, making it Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. The Kyoto Prize is considered by many to be second only to the Nobel Prize. Since 1985, Kyoto Prizes have been awarded to 114 laureates from 18 countries. The 2022 event will be held virtually and in-person at UC San Diego, March 30-31.

About the Kyoto Symposium Organization

The Kyoto Symposium Organization is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 non-profit established to support the Kyoto Prize Symposium and Kyoto Scholarship programs with the Inamori Foundation and co-hosts, University of California San Diego, and Point Loma Nazarene University. Since 2004, the Symposium has generated more than $4 million for scholarships, fellowships and other educational opportunities in the San Diego/Baja region.

About the Inamori Foundation

The Inamori Foundation is a non-profit established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corp. and KDDI Corp., and honorary adviser to Japan Airlines. Inamori created the Kyoto Prize in reflection of his belief that people have no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind and society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between scientific progress and spiritual depth.


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