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Nikkei Community Internship's 10th Anniversary!

Licensing

The Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) is an eight-week summer program. Interns are placed at a Japanese American community-based organization in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Areas for four days of the week. One day of each week is reserved for a training meeting and debriefing, including field trips and speakers for cultural and community exposure. 

In addition to the weekly training meetings, interns will also participate in three statewide retreats. With the help of Southwest Airlines, interns from Los Angeles Little Tokyo, San Jose Nihonmachi and San Francisco Japantown will be given the opportunity to visit and meet community leaders in both regions to further their discussions on Japantown preservation and community leadership.

Each intern receives a $2,000 educational scholarship in addition to training and experience in community work. Availability of funds and the willingness of mentors determines how many interns can participate.

The Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) and the Japanese American Citizens League, Pacific Southwest District are the lead agencies for the program. Since the number of internships is limited, the key to having broader impact and outreach through this program is to select a team of young people who can effectively organize and inspire their peers.

This year is NCI's 10th Anniversary!  During the last decade, over 100 college-aged students have been matched with 20+ Nikkei community organizations in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.  This album will give you a look into what NCI is all about and where the alumni are at now! 

To learn more about NCI, please visit: 

http://www.nikkeicommunityinternship.com/

Slides in this album 

Journey Map

The Japanese American community has a vibrant history spanning more than a century and four generations in the United States. Japanese Americans have before them the tremendous task of defining and addressing the needs of the present community to ensure its future vitality. The participation of young people is one ...

NCI Journey Map
Contributed by: mkochiyama

How it all Started: Jon Osaki, Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC)

Jon Osaki (on right side of picture) is the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) and played an integral part in pushing for the start of NCI.  In his own words, he talks about how it got started:


"NCI came about as the result of several community ...

Supervisor David Chu and Executive Director Jon Osaki at 40th Anniversary Gala
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Why NCI is Important: Kristy Shimosaka, Former NCI Northern California Coordinator

Kristy Shimosaka served as one of the Northern California NCI program coordinators for the first couple of years after it was founded.  She reflects on one of the valuable aspects of NCI:

"There are so many reasons why I know that the NCI program is important.  However, one of the ...

NCI 2008 Workshop
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Where There's A Need: Amy Phillips, One of NCI's Founders and Former Program Coordinator

Amy Phillips is one of NCI's core founders, who really advocated for the youth to have a respected voice in this community.  She is also a former NCI program coordinator and currently helps with NCI as a workshop leader.  In an interview, she talks about the need for NCI:

"Yeah ...

NCI Amy Phillips Workshop
Contributed by: mkochiyama

LA's Japantown, Little Tokyo

There are currently only three remaining Japantowns in the nation!  These three Japntowns, located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, are the sites of the Japanese American community-based organizations where NCI interns are placed.  NCI strives to preserve and revitalize the spirt and livelihood of these Japantowns through ...

Little Tokyo's First Street
Contributed by: mkochiyama

San Francisco Japantown

San Francisco's Japantown, permanently established after the Great 1906 Earthquake, was originally a gateway for Japanese immigrants.  Like the other two Japantowns, it suffered greatly during the evacuation of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II and urban renewal.  It now prospers vibrantly as a place of gathering for ...

San Francisco Japantown
Contributed by: mkochiyama

San Jose Japantown

San Jose's Japantown, also over a century old with its roots with the Japanese immigrants who settled in the Santa Clara Valley, is home to a thriving cultural community.  Similar to the other Japantowns, it's livelihood relies on its dedicated, zealous community members.

For more information, visit: http://www.jtown.org/

San Jose Japantown Obon Festival
Contributed by: mkochiyama

San Jose

This year, NCI 2011 interns were welcomed to opening retreat at the Akiyama Wellness Center, where they practiced their handshakes at a Networking Workshop, learned a little about their fellow interns during their Journey Map presentation, and took a tour of San Jose's Japantown.

NCI 2011 San Jose Opening Retreat
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Opening Luncheon

NCI kicks off to a start with the Nikkei Community Internship Community Leadership Luncheon during opening retreat.  This is where interns meet and greet with local, influential community leaders and members.  Where the networking begins...

NCI Opening Luncheon 2004
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Sponsors

Southwest is the official airline of NCI, who has graciously sponsored this program for many years.  Union Bank is also a significant contributor to NCI, who has shown full support since the very beginning and continually looks for more ways to stay involved with NCI and the community.  Among NCI's ...

NCI 2011 Southwest Plane Ride
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum has long been a supporter of and intern community-based organization for NCI.  In this picture, Koji Sakai is giving NCI 2005 interns a tour of the Childrens' Courtyard right outside of the museum.

"The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to fostering greater understanding and ...

NCI 2005 Japanese American National Museum Site Visit
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Christy Sakamoto


NCI Class 5

Education Coordinator- Japanese American National Museum

NCI fostered that inclination I had to work in the community and turned it into my career and passion.  It literally set me up with my first real job at the Japanese American National Museum, my former intern site.  More ...

Untitled
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Nichi Bei Times

NCI 2005 Norcal interns visit Nichi Bei Times in San Francisco.  Established on May 18, 1946, Nichi Bei Times is the oldest Japanese American bilingual newspaper in Northern California.  Upon its closing in September 2009, Nichi Bei Weekly was founded.  "The Nichi Bei Weekly is grounded by a strong and ...

NCI 2005 Nichi Bei Times Site Visit
Contributed by: mkochiyama

JACL PSW

Jessie Kikuchi, an NCI 2005 intern, works diligently at her desk in the Japanese American Citizens League Pacific Southwest (JACL PSW) District office.

"Informed by the history and experience of the Japanese American community, The mission of the JACL Pacific Southwest District is… 

To advocate for civil rights and a ...

NCI 2005 Jessie Kikuchi Interns at JACL PSW
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Kristin Fukushima

I did NCI in 2008, and I really, really loved it. It's still probably one of my favorite summers ever. I can pretty definitively say that I would not be where I am if it weren't for NCI. Prior to NCI, I didn't do any JA stuff, only AAPI activities. This meant ...

Kristin Fukushima NCI Alumni
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Pacific Citizen

NCI 2005 intern, Amy Ikeda, shows off her a newspaper article, "JA Activist Yuri Kochiyama Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize," she wrote for Pacific Citizen during her internship.

"Celebrating its 82nd anniversary this year, the Pacific Citizen is an award-winning Asian Pacific American semi-monthly newspaper with a distribution of 30,000 throughout the ...

NCI 2005 Amy Ikeda interns at Pacific Citizen
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Beth Uno

NCI class of 2010, intern at Pacific Citizen, UCLA Class of 2011

 NCI was a very memorable and rewarding experience.   While working at Pacific Citizen, I was exposed to issues affecting all Asian Americans and had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2010 National JACL Convention in ChicagoI also enjoyed learning about ...

NCI 2010 alumni Beth Uno
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Hokubei Times

Northern California NCI 2005 interns visit Hokubei Mainichi newspaper in San Francisco3, which was a Japanese language newspaper published from 1948-2009.

NCI 2005 Hokubei Times Site Visit
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute

The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI) has been a contributor to the NCI program since 2008, hosting site visits and interns.  In this picture, Executive Director, Alison Kochiyama, gives Southern California NCI interns a tour of the main GVJCI Heritage Center and upstairs classrooms.

"The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural ...

Untitled
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Go For Broke

NCI 2009 Southern California interns visit the Go For Broke National Education Center and chat with Nisei World War II veterans.

"Our mission is to share the legacy of the Japanese American soldiers of World War II who served in segregated units and fought with unmatched bravery in Europe and the ...

NCI 2009 goes to Go For Broke National Education Center
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI with Project community

NCI 2009 interns join Project Community, a high school program that "create[s] a space for high school youth to learn more about themselves and their roles within the Little Tokyo community," in a workshop.  Workshops "focus on developing leadership skills, identity, the importance of Little Tokyo, grassroots organizing, and the importance ...

NCI 2009 with Project Community
Contributed by: mkochiyama

CJACLC & JACL Nikkei Conference 2011

NCI 2011 interns attend the CJACLC & JACL Nikkei Conference 2011.  There were a variety of educational and inspiring workshops throughout the day that included, but were not limited to Historical Preservation, Art and Culture, Community Preservation, and U.S.-Japan Relations.  Each workshop included a presentation from a panel of experts ...

CJACLC & JACL Nikkei Conference 2011
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Team Building

During mid-session retreat, workshop leader, Debbie Ching, facilitates a Team Building workshop.  Interns have to help each other build lego cars without talking, forcing the interns to utilize other methods of communication and strategy.

NCI Team Building Workshop
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Youth CAN Joins NCI at Midsession Retreat

NCI 2011 interns join Youth CAN, a program to get high school students involved in the JA community, at the Midsession Retreat in the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel.  They played ice breakers and broke out into smaller groups for discussion about JA issues and identity.

Youth CAN Joins NCI at Midsession Retreat
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Craig Ishii

NCI is an incredible program because it's done what no other program in the Japanese American community has ever done; NCI has actually created a set of next generation leaders who will probably be involved in community work for the rest of their lives.... How many programs can boast that ...

NCI Alumni Craig Ishii
Contributed by: mkochiyama

San Jose Obon

NCI 2010 interns attend the San Jose Obon during their Midsession Retreat.

NCI 2010 San Jose Obon
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Workshop Leader: Debbie Ching

Debbie Ching has been a dedicated supporter of the NCI program.  She graciously donates her time and expertise on non-profits and leadership to conduct workshops about time management, finance, team building, and communication.  Debbie expresses why she thinks NCI is important: 

"As a volunteer trainer for the NCI program since ...

NCI Workshop with Debbie Ching
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Communication Styles Workshop

NCI interns demonstrate the different styles of communication during a workshop with Debbie Ching.  After tallying up points pertaining to four different communication personalities, interns map themselves on a graph, landing in one of four quadrants: Driver, Expressive, Amiable, and Analytical.  Then, interns are matched up with other interns of ...

Communication Styles Workshop NCI
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Tuesday Night Cafe

Every year, Southern California NCI interns attend one Tuesday Night Cafe to learn about this artistic community effort and the impact that it's had.  They always put on such a great show with live singers, musicians, and comedians and also have community artwork on display.  You can always count on ...

Tuesday Night Cafe
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Tuesday Night Cafe: The Party

NCI 2009 interns attend Tuesday Night Cafe: The Party, Tuesday Night Cafe's annual summer concert fundraiser at the JACCC plaza, during their Midsession Retreat.

Tuesday Night Cafe: The Party
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Aya Ino


NCI 2006 (Class 5)

Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)

 I interned at the JCCCNC in the Development Department under Chris Hirano.  My main job was to work with the donor base on the annual fundraiser event called Love Letters, a play starring and reuniting stars ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Aya Ino
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Steve Nakajo (of Kimochi, Inc.) Gives Tour of SF J-town

Steve Nakajo, Executive Director of Kimochi, Inc. gives NCI 2004 interns a tour of San Francisco's Japantown.  Kimochi, Inc. "is a nonprofit organization that provides culturally sensitive care for seniors primarily serving the Japanese American community."

For more info, visit: http://www.kimochi-inc.org/index.htm

Steve Nakajo (of Kimochi) Gives Tour of SF J-town
Contributed by: mkochiyama

CJACLC Symposium in Sacramento

NCI 2004 intern, Mike Morita, speaks at the CJACLC Symposium in Sacramento.

CJACLC Symposium in Sacramento
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Eric Murata


"My experience with the NCI internship helped shape the way I view the Japanese-American community and the issues that affect it.  Working at the JACCC gave me a taste of what it is like to work in non-profit world and I still use the skills and lessons I learned ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Eric Murata
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Little Tokyo Scavenger Hunt

During Midsession Retreat, NCI 2011 interns went on a Little Tokyo Scavenger Hunt, where they explored Little Tokyo's historic treasures and surprises.

NCI interns, Alison Sunahara and Mari Miyamoto, strategically plan out their route.

NCI 2011 Little Tokyo Scavenger Hunt
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Interns Eating Natto (Little Tokyo Scavenger Hunt)

A 2003 NCI intern completes one of the tasks by eating a container of natto.  As you can tell by his expression, clearly one of his favorites foods!

NCI Interns Eat Natto (Little Tokyo Scavenger Hunt)
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Katie Furukawa


My name is Katie Furukawa, and I am an alum of the NCI class of 2008. I can't believe NCI is a decade old! 

Currently I work in Product Presentation for Nike at their San Francisco store, which is not what I thought I'd be doing two years out ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Katie Furukawa
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI goes to the Capitol

NCI 2003 interns take a trip to the state capitol, where they meet with political leaders.

NCI goes to the Capitol
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Manzanar Service Project

In 2002, the first NCI Southern California class interns spend a day at Manzanar National Historic Site doing a service project with National Park Service interns.

NCI Manzanar Service Project
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Current Interns and NCI Alumni Plan Event

Mickie Okamoto, 2005 NCI intern, leads a discussion about planning an alumni-intern get-together, where old and current NCI interns can network and talk about their experiences with the program.

Current Interns and NCI Alumni Plan Event
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni/Coordinator Reflection: Mickie Okamoto


I was a part of NCI class 4 in the summer of 2005.  I just finished my freshman year at UCLA when I did the program.

 NCI was a big turning point in my life.  I didn't have a clear vision as to what I wanted to do in ...

NCI Alumni/Coordinator Reflection: Mickie Okamoto
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Nisei Diploma Project

NCI 2005 interns attend a Nisei Diploma Project Ceremony, a JCCCNC project in which Nisei students whose educations and graduations were interrupted by World War II incarceration, were given honorary degrees by their colleges.  Guest speaker, California State Assemblyman Warren Furutani speaks, "[This] is an opportunity for our state to ...

Nisei Diploma Project
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Stacy Iwata

Year 5 (2006)

I can honestly say that my involvement with the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) has been one of the most memorable, rewarding, and fun experiences I ever had. I was an intern at the Pacific Citizen newspaper in 2006, when NCI was in its fifth year and still ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Stacy Iwata
Contributed by: mkochiyama

LTSC Visit

NCI 2006 interns visit the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), one of the community based organizations where NCI interns are placed.

"The mission of the Little Tokyo Service Center, a Community Development Corporation, is to meet the critical needs of people and build community.

For over ...

Little Tokyo Service Center NCI visit
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Jessica Kanai


NCI Class of 2010, Intern at Konnichiwa Little Tokyo- LTSC

Prior to NCI, I was not involved in the JA Community. I participated in the program last summer, and what an adventure it has been in the short time span of one year. 

I was placed at the Little ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Jessica Kanai
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Activism Workshop

NCI 2008 interns participate in an advocacy training and activism workshop led by Diane Ujiye, Asian Pacific Islanders California Action Network (APIsCAN) Executive Director, and California State Assemblyman, Warren Furutani.  Interns learned about education, advocacy, and lobbying and demonstrated their activism abilities in a mock campaign.

APIsCAN is a "catalyst for ...

NCI Activism Workshop
Contributed by: mkochiyama

APALS Reception

Stacey Toda, formerly staff for Assemblyman George Nakano, chats with NCI 2005 interns at the Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff (APALS) Reception.

NCI 2005 APALS Reception
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Reflection: Cory Hayashi

When I first applied for NCI, I was mostly looking for a summer job that allowed me to get involved with the JA community.  What I got instead was a lifetime commitment to a community that has given me so much.  While working as an NCI intern, I was more ...

NCI Alumni Reflection: Cory Hayashi
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Making Mini Goldfish Nebuta for Nisei Week parade

NCI 2009 interns make mini goldfishi nebuta for Nisei Week parade at Little Tokyo Service Center.

NCI 2009 Making Mini Goldfish Nebuta for Nisei Week parade
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2002, Class 1

Kae Arima, Christine Hamilton, Stephanie Hirata, Erin Kagehiro, Jamie Lee, Lisa Masai, Juli Matsumoto, Emily Mayeda, Sarah Sasaki, Kyle Tajima, Stacie Tsuji, Michael Uyeda, Lisa Wada

NCI 2002, Class 1
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2003, Class 2

Mayling Chung, Nicole Iwamasa, Michael Iwanaga, Kristin Iwata, Ran Kimura, Jennifer Murakami, Eric Nakano, Dawn Omori, Michelle Otani, Diana Sakata, Erica Terry, Megumi Tomatsu

NCI 2003, Class 2
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2004, Class 3

Tamiko Forrest, Cory Hayashi, Lauren Kawabata, Jessica Kawamura, Kenyon Mayeda, Bridge Mei, Lauren Miyake, Lori Monji, Mike Morita, Lenna Onishi, Yumi Sakugawa, Doug Sekimura, Machiko Uyeno

NCI 2004, Class 3
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2005, Class 4

Heather Harada, Amy Ikeda, Jessie Kikuchi, Laura Marshall, Jennifer Nakamoto, Lynne Nakamura, Conrad Ohashi, Ryan Ono, Mickie Okamoto, Matthew Shingai, Kent Watanabe, Cindi Yorita

NCI 2005, Class 4
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2006, Class 5

Vanessa Hatakeyama, Karynn Ikeda, Aya Ino, Stacy Iwata, Sally Kikuchi, Lauren Miyamoto, Tenley Mochizuki, Kim Nakamura, Reed Nakamura, Lisa Okuda, Courtney Okuhara, Christy Sakamoto, Lisa Sasaki, Kristen Yasukawa

NCI 2006, Class 5
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2007, Class 6

Jeffrey Chu, Lindsay Chu, Elizabeth Ishida, Eric Murata, Paul Matsushima, Mike Mikawa, Tyler Moore, Karen Nakasato, Christa Ogata, Colleen Oinuma, Monica Sakata, Risa Taira

NCI 2007, Class 6
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2008, Class 7

Fiona Potter, Kristin Fukushima, Janet Hiroshima, Annie Kim Noguchi, Katie Furukawa, Megan Terasaki, LiAnn Ishizuka, Wendy Sekimura, Mimi Yang, Tristan Sedillo, Nate Imai, Max Nihei, Edward Kobayashi, David Oda

NCI 2008, Class 7
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2009, Class 8

Michelle Chan, Kat Hirayanagi, Kisa Ito, Traci Kanamori, Alyssa Kato, Jamie Kozono, Takehiro Kurosawa, Bryan Maekawa, Mike Nakamura, Mark Nitake, Michael Oguro, Emi Sawada, Jason Thai, Kacie Yoshida

NCI 2009, Class 8
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2010, Class 9

Blake Tamaki, Todd Kushigemachi, Mark Hara, Jared Wong, Masao Taylor, Greg Yamaguchi, Stephen Yoshizawa, Sami Michishita, Casey Ikeda, Corey Yamamoto, Michael Murata, Emily Furutani, Megan Sawamura, Sara Seto, Jessica Kanai, Beth Uno, Michelle Mitsuda, Molly Serizawa

NCI 2010, Class 9
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2011, Class 10

Hiromi Aoyama, Jason Hata, Ryan Hata, Kyle Ichikawa, Maya Kochiyama, Ken Matsueda, Mari Miyamoto, Stuart Mizokami, Lisa Mizuiri, Alison Sunahara, Lindsey Sugimoto, Nick Tasaka-Mejia, Alison Tominaga

NCI 2011, Class 10
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI Alumni Booth at JACCC's Chibi-K Fun Run 2011

NCI alumni came back to the JA community and sold shaved ice at JACCC's Chibi-K Fun Run 2011.

NCI Alumni Booth at JACCC's Chibi-K Fun Run 2011
Contributed by: mkochiyama

NCI 2011 Alumni Dinner

Current NCI 2011 interns and 10 years of NCI alumni meet for a dinner get-together in Little Tokyo during Midsession Retreat.

After a decade of success for NCI, Amy Phillips talks about NCI's future:

"I think the fourth point of our mission statement is that people would feel inspired to ...

NCI 2011 Alumni Dinner
Contributed by: mkochiyama


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