Six local high school sophomores were named last week as the latest Yasuda Scholars, students who will be paired with mentors from the Yasuda Trust and Banking Co. and will be eligible for $4,000 college scholarships.
This year's scholars are:
* Carlos Dominguez of Manual Arts,
* Tony C. Marshall Jr. of Washington,
* Yvonne Olivares of Dorsey,
* Oscar A. Sosa of Eagle Rock,
* Alison Thompson of Locke,
* and Troy Yates of Crenshaw.
The six will each be eligible for a $4,000 scholarship upon entering college. And to assist them through their high school years, each student will be paired with an employee from Yasuda Trust, a Tokyo-based banking company with an office at 725 S. Figueroa St.
In the four years of the program, Yasuda has assisted 33 local students, four of whom are now attending college.
The program aims to help students with the potential for academic success but who are at risk because of socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The program tries to provide a financial incentive as well as personal motivation.
The mentors and students spend time together in informal, recreational settings such as baseball games and amusement parks, at informational meetings with groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and on college campus field trips.
The students are chosen through recommendations made by school counselors. Yasuda officials ask counselors to nominate at least two sophomores, according to Frederick C. Jones, vice president and manager of human resources for Yasuda Trust. The students don't submit any information themselves and aren't even aware they are being considered, he said.
After a Yasuda Trust committee makes the selections, Jones visits each campus and meets the winners to learn more about them to find appropriate mentor matches.