JACL recognizes the importance of developing future leaders for the organization and the Asian Pacific Islander community. To meet that goal, the JACL actively sponsors programs and activities specifically geared toward youth and student empowerment.
The JACL has created a variety of programs, scholarships, internships and groups which benefit this next generation of leaders The National Youth/Student Council (NY/SC) is the official body of the JACL to serve as the youth voice of the organization and to facilitate programming for the younger generation.. The JACL administers a number of chapter and national scholarships as well as internships for those students interested in working with the organization on a regional or national level.
The largest youth program that the JACL sponsors is the biennial National Youth/Student Conference, which brings together students from across the nation to share and educate themselves on issues vital to the API community.
The JACL offers a number of internships and fellowships nationwide. National JACL fellowships allow participants to work and receive hands-on experience in the areas of hate crimes prevention, journalism, and public policy.
The JACL began its National Scholarship and Awards Program in 1946. Recognizing that education is a key to greater opportunities for its members, the JACL offers over 30 awards, with an annual total of over $60,000 in scholarships to qualified students nationwide. The National Scholarship and Awards Program offers scholarships to entering freshman, undergraduate, graduate, law, and creative & performing arts students. The National Scholarship and Awards Program also offers a student aid award. All scholarships are one-time awards
JACL Global & Transcultural Studies Scholarship. A four-year scholarship given to a JACL youth member, who is a graduating high school senior. The recipient of the Meiji Gakuin University - JACL U.S. - Japan Scholarship will receive an award that covers 70 percent of the college tuition.
The National Youth/Student Council (NY/SC) is the means by which local youth and student members are represented at the national level of the organization. The NY/SC consists of an elected national chair and national representative, as well as youth/student representatives from each of JACL’s seven districts. The NY/SC chair and representative are voting members of the JACL National Board; the district youth/student representatives are voting members of their respective district councils. District youth/student representatives serve as the primary link between the NY/SC and youth in local JACL chapters and on college campuses.
Currently, the National Youth/Student Council is engaged in a district-by-district assessment of the youth within their respective territories in order to gain a better understanding of the demographics, culture and community of each. This will ensure effective and relevant program planning for the future.