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Growing Community Since 2002: The Nikkei Community Internship Program - Class 11 - Summer 2012

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There seems to be a propensity to celebrate anniversaries in multiples of five. Tenth anniversaries, twenty-fifth anniversaries, fiftieth anniversaries—those are the big ones, the ones that insist on pyrotechnics, photo slideshows, and festive celebration. Lest we fall into the shadows of the forgotten years in between, here are the stories of the Nikkei Community Internship program in its eleventh year. Sponsored by the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council, the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) program is a statewide program that provides college students the opportunity to gain leadership, cultural, and professional knowledge and skills. Coordinated by Kizuna in southern California and the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) in northern California, the goal of the program is to develop the next generation of community leaders by



  • giving young people greater exposure to opportunities and needs in the Japanese American community

  • promoting interaction and networking between existing Nikkei organizations and institutions

  • connecting interns with mentors in the Japanese American community

  • providing a fun learning experience that creates energy and a desire to engage in the community


In the summer of 2012, eighteen interns were placed with non-profit and for-profit organizations in and around California's three Japantowns in Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco. (In 2012, the NCI program featured for the first time a Community Career Track, which places interns at local businesses and for-profit organizations that have a strong community focus. Before 2012, the only participating host organizations had been non-profit community-based organizations.) For eight weeks, interns in the Greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area work on a wide array of projects with their host organizations; they also learn about the non-profit community work being done in their respective Japantowns. In San Jose, the interns do not remain at a single organization; they visit various community-oriented organizations in an eight-week themed rotation program. These are the stories of the NCI Class 11 interns--in their own voices. Southern California (Greater Los Angeles)


Yuriko Castillo - Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) Nicole Tsugawa - Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GCJVI); Venice-Culver Japanese American Citizens League (VC-JACL) Kim Kobashigawa - East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC) Lucy Truong - Kizuna Scott Shima - Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) Elena Inamine - The J. Morey Insurance Company, Inc. Jarred Kozaki - Union Bank Lawrence Lan - Japanese American Bar Association (JABA); Japanese American National Museum (JANM) San Jose


Stacie Sakuma Mika Kennedy San Francisco


Eryn Kimura - Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) Alex Kahng - National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS)  Kaz Kitagaito - National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) Sara Matsumoto - Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)  Miya Yung - Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)  Drew Mametsuka - Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)  Erika Geer - Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)

Album Type

community history

llan — Última actualización Jul 18 2018 12:04 p.m.


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