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Nikkei Community Internship's 10th Anniversary!

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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 of college. I had different plans for my post-college life, but thanks to the community that NCI initiated me into, I've been able to deal with all of the economic setbacks of the past few years.  Even though I work in retail, I am able to be involved in the issues I care about and both serve and participate in the Japanese-American community. Last year I was able to work retail and have an internship with JACL, and I was a founding member of nihonmachiROOTS, which is a progressive grassroots group of youth and young adults in the SF Japantown community. We've been able to do a lot of different things that engage young people around different issues in the community, and I definitely would not have had the confidence to do something like that without my NCI experience. Some of the things we take on have to do with city planning policy, which is what I am really passionate about. I'm also involved with Nakayoshi Young Professionals. This year we are going to have our own noodle booth at the Nihonmachi Street Fair; one of the things I got to do in NCI was co-chair the "Children's World" at NSF in 2008. 

 It's really great that I still see some alums fairly often…I run into alums at couple times a month at the very least. The people in my NCI class and the folks who I've met through the whole experience feel like a family of people that I always know I can count on for information, advice, and inspiration. And they are all a lot of fun to just hang out with. I don't see a lot of the folks who live in Southern California that often, but when I do it feels like I just saw them last week. I love that we all clicked like that and that I was able to expand my Nikkei network beyond the people I had met on campus in college. We're all getting a little bit older now and starting to see some of the really great things that have come out of NCI. It's gonna be great to see how the next 10 years of NCI is able to create!

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NCI Alumni Reflection: Katie Furukawa
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