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


Stacie Sakuma - San Jose Japantown

Who are you?
My name is Stacie Sakuma, I am a yonsei/gosei and I am from San Jose California.  I am going to go into my second year at San Diego State University and I am still undecided/undeclared but I am considering majoring in something business related like accounting.

Where are you interning at this summer?
For this summer internship, I am interning in San Jose Japantown. 

Who are your supervisors?
Since Mika and I are not placed in one organization, we have multiple supervisors.  Just to name a few, Sophie Horiuchi-Forrester, Reiko Iwanaga, Helen Hayashi, Roy Hirabayashi and Kathy Sakamoto.

What projects have you been working on over the past few weeks?
Mika and I sometimes get assigned multiple projects depending on what the organizations would like us to do and how much time we are going to be spending with that particular organization.  We have been assigned things such as updating brochures for the Issei Memorial Building, keeping up with our personal blogs and cataloging pictures in the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.

Any memorable experiences so far?
The Nikkei Community Internship is already coming to an end and it has gone by so fast.  This entire internship has been a memorable experience.  Meeting all of the people that have such a big impact on the community has been such an honor and getting to sit down with most of them and getting the inside scoop about how non-profit organizations are able to carry on and continue with their hard work and dedications throughout the years has really been a very special experience. 

Thoughts on the NCI program as a whole?
This is such an excellent program because it really gives students the opportunity to go beneath the surface of the Japantowns and learn about the different aspects that make up the Japanese American community.  The other interns that I got to meet during this NCI program are such great people and it really is amazing how we have only gotten together (NorCal and SoCal) two times so far, it seems like I’ve known them for so much longer.  I feel like I have learned so much about San Jose’s Japantown.  Even though I grew up in that area, I didn’t really have a full understanding about the different organizations that have such a big impact on the community.  But after going through this internship, I feel so much more knowledgeable about Japantown. 

Any advice for next year’s NCI interns?
Keep your minds open to new experiences because you’ll never know what great opportunities will come from them.

Based on this original

Stacie Sakuma - San Jose Japantown
uploaded by llan
Photo courtesy of Stacie Sakuma. More »

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