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Jean M. Yamanaka Peace Corps Memorial Fund

About Jean Yamanaka


Jean Yamanaka was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1967 to 1969, where she taught high school mathematics in Butuan City, Mindanao. After returning from her service, she became a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Peace Corps Service Council (now RPCVLA), serving from 1974 to 1976. She died on March 24, 1976, at 31 years of age, in La Jolla, California. After her death, her parents, James and Terue, donated $100 to the Service Council with the request that the money be used to support the Service Council’s work.

With the donation, the Service Council established the Jean M. Yamanaka Peace Corps Memorial Fund. The first grant of $25 was made to a maternity group in Brazil, where the money was used to purchase infant care supplies and paper to print infant care instruction sheets.

Projects have included scholarships for school children in Bagiao, Phillippines; books for an orphanage in Seoul, Korea; clinical supplies for a child care center in Rolandia, Brazil; and building materials for a school lunch counter for an elementary school in Bigaa, Philippines. Between 2003-2020, the Jean M. Yamaka Peace Corps Memorial Fund donated approximately $20,000 to projects around the world


2017 Girls Leadership Camp as part of Let Girls Learn Initiative. Tambacounda, Senegal.

















2016 Project Glow in Armenia.

Past Grant Recipients

  • Girls Leadership Camp - Let Girls Learn (Senegal)
  • Multipurpose Health Building (Zambia)
  • Glow Camp (Armenia)
  • Community Eco-Park (Panama)

Grants for Community Organizations in SoCal

The Yamanaka Fund is making grants to community organizations and projects in Southern
California, and our new application for local organizations is now open. We are looking to fund
projects that serve vulnerable communities and residents in Southern California. We especially
want to fund projects that are sustainable and/or can open up new opportunities for local
residents, especially young people.

The focus on funding local projects came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted
Peace Corps assignments abroad and highlighted increasing needs for assistance locally. We
have already funded an architecture summer camp for youth of color, a community-based
organization that provided crucial services during the pandemic, and more.

Through local grantmaking, in addition to funding the projects of Peace Corps volunteers when
they return to the field, RPCVLA can continue to advance the Peace Corps ideal of community
development. Please share this grant application with people in your networks, including
community-based organizations in Southern California. Apply here.
Questions? Please email

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A 2020 virtual youth summer camp held by the SoCal National Organization of Minority Architects, supported with scholarships by Yamanaka Fund.

Grants for Peace Corps Volunteers

RPCVLA offers financial support through the Jean M. Yamanaka Peace Corps Memorial Fund to currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers for projects in their host communities.

To be eligible, PCVs must be able to complete the project during their service or have a plan for another PCV to take over the project.

Preference will be given to projects that are community driven and meet a common need.

Application Process

Please copy and paste the following list with responses in an email or as a Word attachment and send to with “Yamanaka Fund Request” as the subject line (Please limit #1 – #7 to two pages).

  1. Volunteer name and name of program
  2. Contact information in country
  3. US hometown
  4. Connection to Los Angeles or RPCVLA (If any)
  5. Your COS date
  6. Project Title and Description
    1. The relevance of this project to the community’s needs
    2. How those needs were identified
    3. How you will implement the project
    4. Indicators of success for the project
    5. Names and positions of key community participants
    6. How the project will be maintained when you leave the community
  7. Number and description of project beneficiaries
  8. Budget
    1. Total amount requested from RPCVLA Yamanaka Fund
    2. Total project cost (include a budget for your project)
    3. Community contribution (description of in-kind and/or financial)
    4. Other funding sources already committed or pending and amounts, if any
  9. Project Timeline
  10. Details on best method to transfer money to you

RPCVLA requires that successful applicants confirm receipt of monies as well as submit a Final Report before COS that includes a short description of the project, how grant monies were spent (including receipts), and relevant photos. Please email the Final Report to