The Janet Aiko Sekiguchi Foundation

Honoring Janet's legacy by investing in communities and causes consistent with her passions and her struggles.

The Janet Aiko Sekiguchi Foundation honors Janet's legacy by investing in communities and causes consistent with her passions and her struggles. To this end, the foundation partners with schools in historically marginalized communities to support innovative educator- and student-initiated programs that promote intellectual growth, racial & social justice, community development, and the de-stigmatization of mental health.

Janet Signature

DesignerCon 2023


Students from eHigh were able to once again attend the annual DesignerCon, which was held on December 16, 2023 at the Anaheim Convention Center. After the success of last year’s trip, eHigh had so much more interest this year that they increased the number of students that went on the trip. A total of 30 students and 4 advisors attended.

Students were in awe of all the creativity showcased throughout the expo. They had a great time exploring the showroom floor, visiting all of the booths, buying some merch and even enjoying some free swag. Another highlight for the students was being able to eat from the over a dozen food trucks at the event.

Even though by the end most of the students were exhausted from all of the excitement and walking, they really enjoyed the experience. Many of them left inspired and instantly began thinking of ideas of what they would like to create for themselves with the facilities eHihg has on campus. The next step is getting many of these students ready for the expo on April 26, where they will be able to showcase their own creativity.

eHigh Expo 2023


The eHigh Expo 2023 gave students, families and the surrounding community an opportunity to see what eHigh and its students are all about. The expo consisted of two main components, a career & college fair and a student-led vendor fair. As part of the career & college fair, students had the opportunity to attend workshops and explore career opportunities by talking to representatives from local employers and post-secondary schools.

As part of the student-led vendor fair, through funding from the Foundation, students were also able to showcase their entrepreneurial skills by setting up a display and sales booth. Students had the opportunity to promote their businesses and sell their products, many of which were produced on site at the school. Those products included food items, desserts, specialty beverages, clothing with custom-made designs and art pieces, among others. The expo was the culminating event of the Inspiring a Young Entrepreneur Program’s first year where students were able to use grant funds to cover their start-up costs and make their business ideas come to life.

Several Foundation board members had a chance to experience the eHigh Expo firsthand, where we were able to interact with student entrepreneurs, meet school staff and get a tour of the school facilities. The skillful sales techniques we experienced among the student vendors quickly had some of us opening up our wallets to purchase freshly-made beignets as well as horchata with a unique take.

With the first year of the Inspiring a Young Entrepreneur Program concluded, we look forward to continuing our partnership with eHigh in the next couple of years. We hope that the program can build upon its early success.

eHigh goes to DesignerCon


The Inspiring a Young Entrepreneur Program is off to a strong start. Last month, 25 students traveled to Anaheim, California to attend DesignerCon, an arts convention that encompasses all forms of art and design including print media, one of a kind art pieces, vinyl figures, and apparel. The students were able to meet with exhibitors and creative professionals from every field of design. The goal of attending DesignerCon was to allow students to experience the world of design and better understand what being an entrepreneur in this field could look like for them, and find inspiration to create their own designs and have them produced in eHigh’s student-run print shop.

We are excited to be partnering with eHigh for three years, and we think Janet would be proud of what these students are doing. This partnership is already having a beneficial impact on students, and we are looking forward to seeing what these talented students can accomplish! Check out the video the students made reflecting on this experience.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the continued support of our donors. We are grateful the past support, and we humbly ask for continued investment as we continue our partnership with eHigh and build on Janet’s legacy.

eHigh Awarded Grant


It’s hard to believe, but this April marked 20 years since Janet’s passing. To honor Janet at this milestone, the board has been working diligently to solicit and review grant applications, interview finalists, and choose a grant recipient. We spoke with several passionate and dedicated educators and administrators who are engaged in innovative work within marginalized communities. Choosing just one to support was a difficult decision, but we are excited to announce that the JASF grant recipient from 2022 to 2025 we selected is Entrepreneur High School (eHigh) in San Bernardino, California!

eHigh was established in 2018 as an applied entrepreneurship charter school designed to be both inquiry-based and student-centered. The school serves a culturally and academically diverse population of students, representative of California's Inland Empire communities of Highland and San Bernardino. The curriculum engages students in meaningful and relevant learning experiences that foster innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. eHigh is focused on merging academics with real-world skills in order to ensure students have the skillset to thrive in their post-secondary journey. While the level of academics is college-prep, students also choose one of four pathways that prepare them for future careers: Design, Visual and Media Arts, Professional Sales and Entrepreneurship, Food Service and Hospitality, or Software and Systems Development. The school also provides students with opportunities for hands-on business experience such as running a student store where they sell clothing they create and catering school events.

We were impressed with the enthusiasm of the staff at eHigh for the school’s educational approach and (more importantly) for the students themselves. They clearly care a great deal about their students and think highly of the students' abilities and potential, despite the challenges many of them face in their home lives. A few of the staff created a short video that shares a little about the program that our grant will be funding:

Celebrating the life of Janet Sekiguchi


Nineteen years ago this April, we lost our wry, smart, goofy, honest, and cherished friend Janet Sekiguchi. Through the miracle of modern technology, we gathered virtually to remember Janet together.

We invited friends to join us to share some memories and laughs, watch a few old videos, and wonder about what Janet might be doing now. We also shared what the Janet Aiko Sekiguchi Foundation has been up to, and what the future might hold for this organization.