Nikkei Community Internship Wraps Up 10th Year


Participants in the Nikkei Community Internship program join Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Hiroshi Inomata (standing, third from right) and representatives from sponsors Union Bank and Southwest Airlines.

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (CJACLC) celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) with closing ceremonies on Aug. 12 in San Francisco.

The statewide project sponsored by Union Bank placed 15 college-age students at different community organizations in Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco to experience and learn about the Japanese American community. Throughout the eight-week program, the interns also participated in workshops, developed leadership and professional skills, and interacted with various community leaders and organizations. Since its inception in 2002, NCI has affected over 130 participants who have interned in over 20 community-based Nikkei organizations.

The NCI participants had the opportunity to visit all three of the remaining California Japantowns during their statewide retreats in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, San Jose’s Japantown and San Francisco’s Japantown. This opportunity was made possible with partners such as Southwest Airlines, the official airline sponsor of NCI and CJACLC. Interns also had the unique opportunity this year to participate in the 2011 Nikkei Conference in Los Angeles, co-hosted by CJACLC and the Japanese American Citizens League.

For more information about CJACLC and NCI, visit

This year’s participants:

• Alison Tominaga, a second-year student at UC Irvine majoring in international studies, education and Japanese, interned at Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) in San Francisco.

• Alison Sunahara, a third-year student majoring in recreation, parks and tourism administration at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, inerned at National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) in San Francisco.

• Rachel Mock, a third-year student at UC Irvine majoring in Asian American studies, psychology and social behavior, interned at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) in San Francisco.

• Kyle Ichikawa, a second-year student at UCLA majoring in civil engineering, interned in San Jose Japantown community organizations.

• Ken Matsueda, a second-year student at Willamette University with an undecided major, interned at NJAHS.

• Lisa Mizuiri, a graduate of UC Davis in international relations and Japanese, interned at JCCCNC.

• Alex Lim, a second-year student at UC San Diego majoring in physiology and neuroscience, interned in San Jose Japantown community organizations.

• Stuart Mizokami, a fourth-year student at San Diego State University majoring in gerontology, interned at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center.

• Jason Hata, a third-year student at USC majoring in business administration, interned at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in Los Angeles.

• Lindsey Sugimoto, a second-year student at Loyola Marymount University majoring in political science, interned at the JACL Pacific Southwest District office in Los Angeles.

• Maya Kochiyama, a third-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in integrative biology, interned at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

• Mari Miyamoto, a second-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in political science, interned at the Gardena Japanese Cultural Institute.

• Nicholas Tasaka-Mejia, a third-year student at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in biology, interned at the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) in Los Angeles.

• Ryan Hata, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in communications, interned at the Nikkei Credit Union in Gardena.

• Hiromi Aoyama, a fourth-year student at UCLA majoring in communication studies and accounting, interned at Konnichiwa Little Tokyo.

2011 NCI Interns at the midsession retreat in Los Angeles. Back row (from left): CJACLC Chair Alan Nishio, Kyle Ichikawa, Ken Matsueda, Ryan Hata, Stuart Mizokami, Jason Hata, Alex Lim, Rachel Mock, Nicholas Tasaka-Mejia, Alison Tominaga.  Front row (from left): Maya Kochiyama, Mari Miyamoto, Lindsey Sugimoto, Lisa Mizuiri, Alison Sunahara, Hiromi Aoyama.

1 Comment

  1. Milan Moravec on

    University of California Berkeley Nikkei students face tuition increase while UC Berkeley is the most expensive public university in USA. University of California Berkeley (Cal) picks the pockets of foreign, out-of-state, Californian students and their parents clean. UC Berkeley shouldn’t come to the Governor or public for support. (The author has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at Cal where he observed the culture, way senior management work)

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) has forgotten that he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom. These are not isolated examples: Cal tuition, fee increases exceed national average rate of increase; recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,600 students who displace qualified Californians from Cal; spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his senior management work (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; in procuring $3,000,000 consulting firm he failed to receive proposals from others; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010 (M Krupnick Contra Costa Times); ranked # 70 USA best universities Forbes; tuition to Return on Investment drops below top 10; QS academic ranking falls below top 10; only 50 attend Birgeneau all employees meeting; visits down 20%; absence Cal. senior management control NCAA places basketball program on probation.
    It’s all shameful. There is no justification for violations by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none.
    Governor Brown, UC Board of Regents Chair Lansing must vigorously enforce stringent oversight over Chancellor Birgeneau who uses Cal. as his fiefdom.

    Email opinion to [email protected]

Leave A Reply