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2013 Nikkei Community Internship: From Step to Leap

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The Nikkei Community Internship is an eight-week statewide program that allows college students to experience the exciting realm of the workplace and learn all that is necessary to become the future leaders of the Japanese American community. The goals of this program are to:

  • give young people greater exposure to opportunities and needs in the Japanese American community
  • promote interaction and networking between existing Nikkei organizations and institutions
  • connect interns with mentors in the Japanese American community
  • provide a fun learning experience that creates energy and a desire to engage in the community

Participating students are placed in a variety of non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses in the San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas. The work schedule format is “4+1” for the interns work with their respective host organizations four days a week while saving the last of the five work days for what are fondly known as “training days”. On these days, all the interns meet and engage in cultural/community training as well as leadership development activities. In the end, to lower the curtains on an amazing eight-week stage of their lives, each student receives a $2,000 educational scholarship courtesy of the sponsors.

In particular, this album seeks to shine the spotlight on the Nikkei Community interns of Southern California. Thus the prominent and generous organizations with a community focus in the Greater Los Angeles area are as follows:

  • Kizuna
  • Union Bank/The J. Morey Insurance Company, Inc.
  • Little Tokyo Service Center
  • Japanese American Citizens League-Pacific Southwest District
  • Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute
  • East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
  • Keiro Senior Health Care
  • Japanese American Bar Association/Japanese American National Museum
  • Mutual Trading Company
  • Japanese American Cultural & Community Center 
  • IW Group

Special thanks to all host organizations, the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council, NCI Coordinator Paul Matsushima, both NorCal and SoCal interns, and to everyone else who helped make this summer special!


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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation