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Nikkei Community Internship's 10th Anniversary!


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 of the keys to sustaining the rich culture and traditions of the Nikkei heritage. This was the primary focus at Spectrum, a conference organized by and for young Nikkei in April 2001.

In response, the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (CJACLC) funded an initiative to plan and implement a statewide summer internship program the following year. This pilot program, coordinated by the Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC) in San Francisco and theJapanese American Citizens League, Pacific Southwest District (JACL PSW) in Los Angeles, grew into the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) program.

The goal of NCI is to develop the next generation of community leaders by:

  1. Giving young people greater exposure to opportunities and needs in the Japanese American community,
  2. Promoting interaction and networking between existing Nikkei organizations and institutions,
  3. Connecting interns with mentors in the Japanese American community who inspire and pique their interest in the work of our organizations, and
  4. Providing a fun learning experience that creates energy and a desire to participate in the Japanese American community and other communities to which they belong.

This is a picture of two Journey Maps that NCI interns made to represent their "journey to NCI": what got them interested in the program, Japanese American culture, and community involvement, and a brief insight into how they define their identity.

Based on this original

NCI Journey Map
uploaded by mkochiyama
Interns create a "Journey Map" of their path to NCI. Photo courtesy of Nikkei Community Internship NCI 2009 More »

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