Rising Stars: Teaching Japanese American Values

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Rising Stars 13 participants visit the Japanese American National Museum.

Rising Stars 13 participants visit the Japanese American National Museum.

By WYATT KURUMIYA

The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program is a fun and educational program that readies its participants to become future leaders. At the Rising Stars workshops, students learn leadership skills such as persuasive speaking, networking, teamwork, and Japanese American cultural values.

It will host its 13th annual Miniature Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Saturday, March 12, at Golfland in Anaheim. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the shotgun start is at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

The tournament will end at 2 p.m. after a buffet pizza lunch and raffle prizes are distributed. Entry fees are $10 for children under 10 years of age and $20 for adults. Lunch only is $10 for non-golfer supporters.

One of the Rising Stars workshops focuses on cultural values.

One of the Rising Stars workshops focuses on cultural values.

The Rising Stars program was established in 2004 by a group of members from the Nikkei Federation who attended a “Building Community Through Leadership” workshop presented by LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics). The committee thought it necessary to develop leadership in the Japanese American community and established a program for high school youths modeled after the LEAP workshop. The Nikkei Federation, a nonprofit organization, sponsors the program.

At first, Rising Stars offered five workshops, but now, the program has expanded to a total of six workshops, a tour of the Japanese American National Museum, a scavenger hunt, and the fundraising group project, the Rising Stars Miniature Golf Tournament. For the project, participants of the Rising Stars program work with Rising Stars alumni and advisors to plan a golf tournament to fundraise for the following year’s Rising Stars program.

Camelot Golfland is located at 3200 E. Carpenter Ave. in Anaheim. To contact Camelot Golfland, call (714) 630-3340. For information to sign up for the tournament or about sponsoring the event, contact Glenn Nakatani at (626) 915-5388 or [email protected] For any information about the Rising Stars Program, visit www.nikkeifederation.org/risingstars/.

Wyatt Kurumiya is a participant of the 2015-16 Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program. He is a junior and attends Academy of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.

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