By NOAH MIYAMAE
The Nikkei Federation announces applications for the 14th annual Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program are available online to all interested high school students.
This program will take place on Saturdays from Oct. 29, 2016 to April 1, 2017, and features monthly sessions on many topics such as teamwork, speaking to persuade, and networking.
The sessions take place at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) in historic Little Tokyo. However, some events will be located elsewhere: such as a beach bonding trip, a Little Tokyo scavenger hunt, and a student-run golf tournament. The sessions located at the JACCC will be on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The program provides vital life skills that participants can use in daily life and in the working world. Many workshops are tailored to introduce the participants to the rich cultural background of Japanese Americans and help them to appreciate the many unique aspects of the Japanese American culture.
Other workshops have practical applications such as networking to find jobs, financial planning to learn how to budget money for the future, and preparing for college. By the end of the program, most students should be ready to tackle real-world problems.
Throughout the duration of the program and the interactive workshops, members will plan a miniature golf tournament fundraiser. The project provides an opportunity for the participants to apply the many lessons provided by the professional workshop leaders to encourage them to work together to plan every aspect and publicize the event to friends, family, and community members.
The students will be introduced to the Japanese American cultural organizations in the Little Tokyo area by going on a walking tour and also visiting the Japanese American National Museum.
The bonds that participants will form with one another are another aspect of the program. Getting to know other Japanese American teenagers is very rewarding and many participants stay in touch long after the program concludes.
“I really enjoyed the networking workshop because it gave me real life experience,” alumna Hope Sadahiro said. “However, my personal favorite moment was when we were all just working together to fill goodie bags for the golf tournament and hanging out with one another.”
The program costs $250 and includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks. The actual estimated cost is $1,000, but the program is made possible from the proceeds from the 2016 golf tournament fundraiser and generous contributions by sponsors. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 9; a maximum of 25 participants will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 28. Applications may be completed online by going to www.nikkeifederation.org/risingstars.
For further information, contact Glenn Nakatani at P.O. Box 4235, Covina, CA 91723, call (626) 915-5338, fax (626) 915-2699, or email [email protected]
Noah Miyamae is an alumnus of the 2015-16 Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program 13. He is entering his senior year at South Pasadena High School.