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Nikkei Community Internship's 10th Anniversary!


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 gatherings similar to the JACL Convention.

In 1998, LA hosted the Ties That Bind Conference.  At that conference, the CJACLC was formed, the need for leadership development was affirmed, and the youth in attendance articulated their desire to be mentored and involved in building the JA community for the future.

In 2000, SF hosted the Nikkei2000 Conference, which in addition to the conference tracks, included a forum for the youth attendees to discuss specific action steps that they could take to further integrate young people into the community.  This gathering led to the organizing of the Spectrum Nikkei Youth Conference in 2001.  It also initiated a subsequent planning process which was sponsored by the CJACLC and led by JCYC to go into various communities to document how young people were involved and what needs were not being met.

 In 2001, recommendations from the spectrum youth conference were integrated into the CJACLC planning document.  One of the recommendations from the document led directly to the creation of NCI.  A work group of folks from JCYC, LTSC, LEAP, and a few others designed the program and launched it in 2002.

 I know the evolution of creating NCI seems like a slow and drawn out process, but I believe the program is successful because it not only addresses the needs, cultivates the leadership potential of young nikkei, but it evolved out of a very organic process with young people as the driving influence vs. adults who think they know what's in the best interest of youth.  

 NCI is a critical program for the community for several reasons:

 1.  NCI identifies young people who have a strong interest in the community;

2.  The program provides an opportunity for young people to connect with peers who are like minded with regard to the community;

3.  NCI provides a unique opportunity for young people to connect with community leaders.  This connection allowed many alumni to continue their involvement in the community through a variety of opportunities (volunteerism, employment, community planning, etc.).

4.  NCI has also provided a forum for youth to engage in community planning initiatives (i.e. JACL Convention) and affirms for our community that there are plenty of youth with leadership potential if we collectively provide them with the right opportunities. "

Based on this original

Supervisor David Chu and Executive Director Jon Osaki at 40th Anniversary Gala
uploaded by mkochiyama
Supervisor David Chu and Executive Director Jon Osaki at 40th Anniversary Gala June 19, 2010 Photo taken from: http://www.jcyc.org/news-events/about/ More »

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