Okamoto Scholarship

Chad Okamoto Memorial Scholarship


2016 Theme: "Dream"


Chad Okamoto application button 


 Winner 2015: Shivani Aurora

2015 Theme: "Tales Told: Story in Art"

Artist Statement

Artist Statement: I believe, childhood is the purest form of a human soul. As a child, our hearts and thoughts are honest, simple, imaginative and playful. But as we grow and interact with the world, our priorities change and our decisions become complex. In this rat race to survive through the rough world, we tend to forget or ignore the soft side in us and instead start to weigh things between right and wrong, success and failure, hypocrisy and contemplation. We forget that everything need not be looked through a complex lens and that happiness could be found through simplest means. Through my short film, I intend to bring back the fond memories of childhood to you and show that even today, simple and innocent thoughts can make our lives happier. The film is a compilation of tales told by both children and adults, when they were asked a set of questions. It is compelling to see some extremely strong and contrasting answers of kids and adults in the first half. The second half on the other hand, shows the similarities between their answers. It depicts how some things never change, even as we grow old and that we still are connected a small corner of innocence hidden in us. All we need to do is to overlook our complex thoughts and concentrate on simple things that make life so simple and happy. At last, I intend to convey a simple message- ‘How beautiful the world would be if you never let go off the child in you’.

Chad Okamoto Scholarship Past Winners:

  • 2015-16 Shivani Aurora
  • 2014-15 Sarah Ledwon
  • 2013-14 Nin Filip
  • 2012-13 Jacqueline DonEcho
  • 2011-12 Julie Nguyen
  • 2009-10 Nancy Sevier
  • 2008-09 Teresa Kwon
  • 2007-08 Danny Hellevig
  • 2006-07 Nalyne Lunati
  • 2005-06 Haneen Hammad
  • 2004-05 Kevin Nguyen
  • 2003-04 Eileen David
  • 2002-03 Pamela Luk Yan Lam



Chad Okamoto passionately pursued his life-long dream of becoming an artist. His skills awarded him a place in the prestigious fine art program at UCLA where he earned his degree. This eventually led him to his dream job in September of 2001. Finding such a job in the arts in the Bay Area took perseverance and a passion for his work. It was a long journey, one that required hard work and patience. When doors appeared shut Chad increased the breadth of his knowledge and experience with specialized classes at DeAnza College. He entered drawing competitions to expand his creativity. He pursued many art forms, primarily graphic design and animation. Chad will be remembered not just as a talented artist, but also as a great friend, loyal brother, and devoted son. He had a great outlook and enjoyed a well-rounded life. He enjoyed the challenges of competition and strived to be the best he could be in the pursuits he loved: the arts, as well as baseball, gymnastics, and especially ice hockey. Just a few short weeks after achieving his goal, a dream job in animation, Chad's life ended tragically due to an unexpected medical condition. This memorial scholarship was established to assist art students to fulfill their artistic dreams, so future artists will benefit from Chad Okamoto's life.



  • Artwork must be display ready.
  • All medium must be wall-mountable or an animation that can be run on an LCD screen.
  • Judging of artwork will be conducted by SJSU-SHC staff with Art Department support. Artwork must include: title, medium, dimensions, and artist’s name.
  • Dimensions may range from 8.5”X11” to 4’x4’, framing excluded and animations will be displayed on an LCD screen.
  • Winning piece or pieces (i.e. if work is a series of related pieces) will be displayed at the SJSU Student Wellness Center for a year. If the work is ongoing and the student would like to do a changing exhibition, criteria can be discussed in artist statement.

DUE DATE: Friday, November 4, 2016

Accredited By AAAHC Logo