Congratulations to our 1st Grondine Scholar, Derek Yamashita!

July 8, 2013 

Our 1st Grondine Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Derek Yamashita!

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Derek is a rising junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Global and International Studies with a minor in Japanesse.  He will be spending a full academic year at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Derek is a fourth generation Japanese American who discovered his love of Japanese culture when he served as an ambassador in the Huntington Beach Sister City Exchange Program with Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture. After the devastating Tohoku earthquake in March 2011, Derek fundraised extensively to help the people of Japan and visited the Tohoku region the next summer as part of the Terasaki Japan Educational Program. Derek hopes to become a bridge between Japan and the United States.

With this scholarship I plan to travel to Tohoku to partake in volunteer work and also create an in-depth photo narrative to help spread awareness about the current state of affairs of Northern Japan. During my year abroad I also wish to establish connections that will further my life goal of attaining a career in Japan-US diplomacy.” -Derek Yamashita

To see the full list of Fall 2013 Bridging Scholars, please visit

About the Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship


Robert (Bob) Grondine (1952-2011) was a generous member of the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation’s Tokyo Advisory Committee, formal partner at White & Case, and an esteemed colleague and friend to many across Asia and the U.S. As one of the most prominent foreign figures in Tokyo for nearly three decades, Bob’s passionate contributions to U.S.-Japan relations are immeasurable. He well understood that the development and nurturing of cultural and commercial bridges were the essential underpinning of ensuring understanding and friendship between the Japanese and American peoples. Bob clearly identified with the Bridging Foundation’s mission to grow global leaders through a program providing scholarships to American college students to study in Japan.  His commitment to the Bridging Foundation assisted in enabling hundreds of American undergraduates to experience Japan first hand.

Last year, the Bridging Foundation launched the Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund with generous support from White & Case, individual and corporate donors. This scholarship will help keep Bob’s legacy alive by providing scholarships for US students to study abroad in Japan.

Bob’s full biography can be found on

Watch our YouTube video to learn more about the scholarship

Interested in contributing to the Scholarship Fund?

The Bridging Foundation is extremely grateful for the generous support of our donors who have made it possible to grant scholarships and grow global leaders. You can help us continue Bob Grondine’s great legacy by contributing to the Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please visit our donations page at to make a safe, secure online donation.  Thank you.

The US-Japan Bridging Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are fully tax-deductible under the US IRS code. Donations made in Japan may be made tax deductible through arrangements with the Japan Foundation.