Spring 2020 Japanese Junior Fellows

Taiki Koizumi, Tokyo
Kaijo Senior High School

Taiki’s goal is to become a member of the Doctors Without Borders team. His previous experience visiting foreign countries has taught him the complexities that must be met in order to effectively help people who are not from one’s home country. He is looking forward to broadening his understanding of foreign cultures through his trip to the United States and is eager to see how America, as a first world nation, is responding to global crises. While in the US, Taiki will be studying how America deals with childhood poverty and hunger.

Daiki Kusahara, Kagoshima
La Salle High School

Daiki Kusahara is very interested in making health care an international affair in Japan. Struck by the lack of effective support among Japanese hospitals when it comes to foreign patients, Daiki is looking forward to learning from leaders in the United States in matters of pairing a globalized world view with innovative company management. During his visit, he will be studying the ways people are trying to solve the issue of water pollution with his teammates.

Akira Kusama, Tokyo
Waseda University Senior High School

Akira’s dream is to become an IT Engineer who focuses on using technology to solve social issues. He has designed his own web sites, videos and apps, and currently is a project manager for the Enterprise Project, which meets with companies and invests in mock-stock market scenarios. Akira is eager to learn from American business models while he is in the US as well as debating with his peers on the subjects of business and society. Akira will be examining the issue of paternity leave and the perceptions people have about it in Japan and the United States.

Joichi Matsunaga, Yokohama
Seiko Gakuin High School

With a strong interest in community development, Joichi is eager to find ways to incorporate technology into daily life. He recently won first place in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper’s “Creating the Future” contest with his idea for an AI earpiece that tells its user when to take medication and that monitors the user’s vital signs and alerts authorities when any irregularities occur. While a strong individual thinker, Joichi is excited to come to the United States and learn how leaders successfully work as a team to accomplish their goals. For his team project, Joichi will be comparing the Japanese perception of paternity leave with that of America.

Rei Mitsui, Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefectural Kanazawa Izumigaoka Senior High School

Well aware of how fast the world is changing, Rei wants to harness that energy by becoming a robotics engineer. Passionate for solving puzzles, Rei excels in physics, mathematics, and debate. Rei is looking forward not only to meeting leaders in the United States, but also working with the other Junior Fellows as a team. While in the US, Rei will be examining the issue of water pollution and ways local communities are combatting this problem.

Ayumi Namba, Okayama
Notre Dame Seishin Girls’ High School

Ayumi is set on shifting the gender imbalance within the Japanese political system by becoming a member of Japan’s National Diet and advocating for a stronger female presence in Japanese politics. She is currently the President of her school Student Council, an active member of the debate club, and has started a workshop to encourage women to be involved in political planning. Ayumi is excited for the chance to come to the US and investigate what makes a great leader in the United States. During her stay in the US, Ayumi will be comparing Japan’s views on paternity leave to that of the United States.

Airi Seya, Fukushima
Fukushima Prefectural Sukagawa Toyo High School

Fukushima Prefectural Sukagawa Toyo High School Airi parlayed her experience with the 3.11 Tohoku Disaster into a passion for community service. Her memories of dealing with radiation fallout from the Fukushima power plant meltdown led her to play an active role in a group called Fukushima Kids, which helps children affected by the disaster. She has also assisted in reconstruction efforts after the 2018 Iburi-Tobu Earthquake in Hokkaido and in relief efforts for children in the Philippines. While in the US, Airi will be researching the way local communities are fighting childhood poverty and hunger.

Daiki Utoo, Okayama
Okayama Asahi Senior High School

A tried and true supporter of his community, Daiki continues to find ways to make an impact. Even though he is in high school, he is part of the executive team that produces the annual Uraja Festival in his home town of Okayama. He is eager to learn from leaders in the United States on how to effectively manage and build successful teams, as well as how to incorporate sustainability into actionable plans. For his team project, Daiki will be studying the ways people are protecting the ocean and lessening their reliance on plastics.

Noa Yamamoto, Gunma
Gunma Kokusai Academy

Noa brings a wealth of experience as a leader, but is earnest about her desire to improve. She has been an active member of her school’s Science Club, Kyudo (Archery) Club, Liberal Arts Club and Model UN. Nao is looking forward to meeting leaders in the US and discovering the ways that they inspire others to follow and make their visions a reality. While in America, Noa will be studying the effect of plastic debris on marine life and ways local communities are trying to solve this problem..

Ai Yoshida, Fukui
Fujishima High School

Ai is passionate about the advancement of women in society and is eager to learn from American leaders who tackle this issue on a daily basis. Her work with her English debate club has uncovered a strong desire to be an advocate for equality in the workplace as well as for work-life balance issues. Ai is also an avid sportswoman, engaging in basketball, volleyball, badminton and long distance running. While in the US, Ai will be investigating how communities are combating the issue of plastics threatening marine life.

Summer 2019 Junior Fellows

  Desmarie Carby, NY
World View High School

Desmarie is the founder of a club at her school called the “Green Team,” which over the past three years has instituted various recycling initiatives in her school, as well as enlisted 25 other NYC schools to follow suit. A dedicated environmentalist and humanitarian, Desmarie hopes to combine her love of social activism with her career goal of becoming an architect in order to establish a supermarket that is financially accessible to everyone, including the homeless. This is Desmarie’s first trip to Japan and she is eager to learn how the Japanese concept of “mottainai,” or avoiding waste, is practiced in everyday life.

Alexandra Cherry, NJ
Belleville High School

Deeply interested in a career in medicine, Alexandra comes to the Junior Fellows Program with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. An active leader in her school’s acapella singing group and color guard, she brings a wealth of experience working with people, as well as a love for performance. Alexandra hopes her time in Japan will help her better understand the relationships between business, technology, and medicine. This is Alexandra’s first trip to Japan.

  Jared Cohen, NY
Clarkstown High School South

Jared has been fascinated with Japan since the 7th grade when he began learning the language. His career interests in computer science and business have encouraged him to consider how he might combine such interests to create an international business or serve as an ambassador for technology companies in Japan and the US. Jared is the Co-President of his school’s Computer Science Club, a National Honor Society member, and is part of the Foreign Language Honor Society. This visit to Japan will be Jared’s first trip abroad.

Pierson Cohen, NY
Horace Mann School

A member of the Model Congress at Horace Mann, Pierson has been wrangling with social and political issues affecting the US. He is also active in raising awareness around issues that Japan faces. He is the co-President of the Ashita-Tomorrow Club, through which he hosted a Japanese high school student from the area affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Pierson’s social advocacy extends further, as a student tutor and a volunteer at a local Dog Rescue organization. This will be Pierson’s first trip to Japan.

  Sofia Coulibaly, NY
NYC iSchool

Sofia is an ambitious and creative person with a passion for making international connections. She is an avid writer and journalist and is the founder of her school’s Anime Club. She is also a member of her school’s iNews Network, and Drawing Club. Her work in journalism has taught her the important role businesses play in a country’s development. Sofia is committed to exploring the connection between businesses and the economy and how they can institute positive change at both a local and international level. This is Sofia’s first trip to Japan.

Jacob Grimm, NY
Bronx High School of Science

Jacob has been interested in Japan and Japanese culture for as long as he can remember. Inspired by his father who traveled to Japan when he was younger, Jacob enjoys improving his Japanese and is the President of his school’s Japanese Animation Club. Jacob is also a student senator in his school government, a member of the Math Team, and most recently helped collect more than 3,000 cans of food as part of his school’s recent food drive. This will be Jacob’s first trip to Japan.

  Connor Johnston, NJ
Hudson School

To say Connor is interested in history is an understatement. His passion for history and engineering have drawn him to the study of naval histories in particular, and he hopes that such a combination of interests may lead to a career building ships or airplanes. Connor is also a tested leader. Having been a Boy Scout for many years and a participant in the New York Leadership Training Program, Connor has honed the skills of patience, empathy, and teamwork. While in Japan, Connor hopes to discover more about Japan’s rich history.

Katherine Kolitch, NY
Columbia Preparatory School

Katherine combines an active life in student government and a passion for community service with a deep interest in Japanese language and culture. A leader in her school’s Peer Grit organization, Katherine has been helping economically disadvantaged students in NYC improve their study habits. Born in Hong Kong, a sensitivity and interest in other cultures has always come naturally to Katherine. She is excited to test and improve her four years of Japanese language abilities while in Japan.

  Erica Levine, NY
Fiorello La Guardia High School

As an emerging artist, Erica believes it is her responsibility to see beyond her everyday life and experience the world through the eyes of others. This belief has led her to rigorously study Japanese language and she is currently a member of the Japanese National Honor Society at her school. Erica hopes her experiences in Japan will translate into meaningful and personal artwork that accurately represents the experiences of those she meets. This is Erica’s first trip to Japan.

Nathaniel Plesner, NY
United Nations School (UNIS)

As a half Korean, half English American, Nathaniel is passionate about creating environments that engender inclusivity. He believes the key to success is to recognize the individual talents of a group in order to foster effective teamwork. Nathaniel is the co-founder of his school’s Drama Club and served as a head tutor for middle school students with dyslexia. While in Japan, Nathaniel is eager to see how art and technological advancements have ignited social change.

Spring 2019 Japanese Junior Fellows

  Takeru Fukugauchi, Hiroshima
National Institute of Technology

Inspired by his town’s passion for local craftsmanship, Takeru is an engineering major in 5-year trade school. His sights, however, are set on a career outside of Japan. Having traveled to some Asian countries, Takeru is committed to making connections to people from all over the world. In school he was a leader in his Problem Solving class and believes the key to his success lay in engendering a spirit of cooperation, discovering points of commonality between people, and personally cultivating his ability to listen. Takeru is employing these skills in the U.S. while conducting research on how local communities engage in disaster preparedness.

Hao Kanayama, Kanagawa
Yokohama Senior High School of International Studies

Currently studying Arabic, Hao hopes one day to do work with refugee camps in the Middle East. Volunteerism has played an important role in Hao’s life. Recently she travelled to Cambodia, where she spent two weeks as a volunteer for a local orphanage. Her experiences have taught her the important role developed countries can play in assisting those less fortunate. Hao also enjoys the arts; she has been dancing the hula for 10 years. While in the United States Hao is examining the ways people support developing countries.

  Kenta Mamiya, Yokohama
Seiko Gakuin High School

A self-described “mood-maker,” in middle school Kenta was already being featured in a special program on NHK television for his work in his school’s Entrepreneur Program. He is an active member of his High School Student Council and has been an important part of his school’s cultural festival planning. Having lived in the US during his elementary school years, Kenta is eager to apply his international experience to enriching the lives of the people he meets, both in Japan and in the United States. For the team project, Kenta is researching how people provide support to poverty stricken developing countries.

Haruna Nakagaki, Osaka
Osaka Prefectural Ibaraki High School

Volunteering to help children who were affected by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in 2011 taught Haruna the importance of stepping in to meet a challenge regardless of whether or not it is her responsibility. Also a dedicated peacemaker, she has combined her industrious nature with a zest for collaboration, ensuring that all voices are heard and all viewpoints are considered. Haruna is also a lifelong ballet student, and has been practicing since age four. Reflecting her goal of working in the agriculture industry, she is currently examining the effects of food waste and is interested in discovering ways both individuals and corporations might help combat this problem.

  Ren Nakano, Tokyo
Waseda University Senior High School

Ren’s motto towards life says it all: “Dive into Diversity.” Deeply interested in a career that builds bridges between cultures, Ren has spent his high school life traveling to various countries and participating in international symposiums. Ren has travelled to Asia for symposiums and looks forward to exploring New York, which he believes is a diverse city that exemplifies the idea that true knowledge begins when you understand the perspective of others. Ren is also an active tennis player, having played for the past 10 years. While staying in the U.S., Ren is looking into the problem of food waste and considering ways different culture’s perspectives might lead to solutions.

Rin Ogura, Tokyo
Seijo High School

An aspiring future business leader, Rin brings a diverse set of skills to the table that combine international relations with an artistic eye. He has been the Chairman of the Public Relations Wing of his Student Council and spearheaded initiatives to provide aid to poverty stricken boys in Cambodia as part of his school’s annual cultural festival. As Director of his school’s International Student Organization he led a collaboration with students in Vietnam and Taiwan and addressed issues of cultural significance. Rin is also a photographer with a passion for fashion, honing his keen eye in effectively using the image as a tool for public relations and outreach. Rin is examining how to better prepare people for Disasters in their communities.

  Ayaka Ohara, Okayama
Konko Gakuen High School

Education plays a major role in Ayaka’s life; both of her parents are principals. As a result Ayaka is very interested in a career with UNICEF and wants to provide educational opportunities to children in need. In her home town she is the Vice-Chair of “JKnote,” a community planning and volunteering organization. Ayaka also is a founder of a local newspaper, “Mabi Paper,” which focuses on providing helpful information after the storm disaster in western Japan in 2018. Most recently, she was selected for the Hiroshima International Junior Forum, in which students from around the globe got together to address peace. Ayaka is conducting research on how local communities preemptively prepare for natural disasters.

Towa Sasaki, Iwate
Kozukata Senior High School

Towa hails from a rural part of Japan, but demonstrates an international viewpoint. In school, Towa is an English major, a member of Student Council, and is an active part of his school’s international exchange club. He is particularly interested in understanding the way foreign cultures approach issues of business ethics, societal problems, and problems shared on an international level. While his interests are quite serious, Towa has a great sense of humor and never shies away from the opportunity to share a good joke. While in the United States Towa is studying the role international consciousness plays in combating poverty in developing countries.

  Masayuki Takekawa, Tokyo
Jiyu Gakuen High School

Masayuki’s empathic and even-keeled personality has proven a valuable resource in his school life and beyond. In middle school he was in charge of safety and preparatory procedures as part of the school’s mountain climbing trip. This experience was instrumental to his work in 2016 as a relief volunteer in the aftermath of the Kumamoto Earthquake. Masayuki is also a talented artist, plays guitar in a band, and is a passionate sculptor. Growing up near forests in Hokkaido, woodworking is his medium of choice, and he recently won an award from the National High School Art Exhibition. Masayuki is examining the unique ways individuals purchase and consume food and the steps that communities are making to combat food waste.

Yumi Tsunoda, Tokyo
Ochanomizu University Senior High School

Passionate about discovering challenges and meeting them, Yumi has served as Vice President on her school council since Middle School and she is an active member of her school’s annual festival planning committees. An avid sportsman as well, Yumi has played tennis since Middle School and is currently getting certified as a skiing instructor. Inspired by “Doctors without Borders” and her own father who is a doctor, Yumi hopes to become a doctor in the future. Yumi has chosen to investigate the important role of Disaster Preparedness as her research topic during the Junior Fellows Program.

Summer 2018 Junior Fellows

  Audrey Deigaard, TX
High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA)

Audrey is a very open minded leader. She loves learning about new cultures and their languages. She is studying in school and teaching herself Japanese, French, Mandarin, Thai and Danish. Along with learning new languages she is a member of her schools orchestra where she plays the harp. In the future she wishes to focus on foreign services or STEM research. Her independent project research is on Environmental issue.

Bram Ellant, NY
Hunter College High School

Bram is a driven young leader passionate about Japanese history. He created a documentary about Japanese American internment during World War II called Mommy, Let’s Go Back to America: The Story of Japanese American Internment During the Second World War. He is also the founder and president of his school's Squash team and volunteers for soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Bram’s future career goals involve international relations, in addition to his passion for business. His independent project topic is aging society and declining birth rate.

  Bennett Fuchida Hawley, CT
Greenwich High School

Bennett is a natural leader who is passionate about renewable energy. He is an active member in his school’s chapter of the Model UN and is an Eagle Rank Boy Scout. He is also a part of his school’s band where he plays the saxophone, and he is on his schools swim and fencing teams. In the future, Bennett wishes to pursue a career in international relations with a focus on sustainable development and clean energy. His independent project topic is Roles of US and Japan in Asia.

Gilaisy Herrad, NY
Bronx Collaborative High School

Kind and compassionate, Gilaisy is interested in different cultures, especially Japan’s culture, and she has been studying Japanese. She is an active member of YLC, Youth Leadership Council, and founder of chess petition at her school. In the future, Gilaisy wants to pursue a career in science, more specifically in Epidemiology. Her independent project research is on Environmental issue.

  Hayreddin Kalac, NJ
Pioneer Academy

Hayreddin is an inquisitive young leader who strives to better himself. He studied abroad in Egypt and now is a mentor for students at his school who are there on exchange programs. Hayreddin is interested in Japanese animations, soccer, and is in his school’s drama club. In the future, he wishes to study at West Point or the US Naval Academy, to study history and business. His independent project topic is Immigration.

Jude William Tomoyuki Klena, VA
Norfolk Academy

Will demonstrates strong leadership as a member of his school’s student council. He is an active member of his schools crew and swim teams. He is also a peer counselor, where he helps tutor his peers in many subjects. He has pursued an individual project in the past, focusing on a hypothetical situation where a city was converted to entirely renewable energy. Will has a passion for entrepreneurship, his dream is to have a clothing company inspired by vintage fashion from different countries. His independent project topic is Environmental issue.

  Uriel Lopez, NY
Leadership and Public Service High School

Uriel has been an avid soccer player since he was 6 years old, he enjoys reading and Japanese animations. He participated in the Junior Achievement Business Plan Competition and the Zurich’s Summer Program. He is currently participating in the Ace Mentor Program, where he is learning about civil and mechanical engineering. Uriel’s career goals revolve around architecture and mechanical engineering. He is interested in Japanese architecture and how buildings are constructed in Japan. His independent project topic is Roles of US and Japan in Asia.

Isabel Podolsky, NY
High School of American Studies at Lehman College

Isabel is a high-achieving young lady who influences those around her. She is an active member of her school’s chapter of the Model UN and her school’s debate team. She enjoys creative writing, traveling and coding. In the future Isabel is interested in studying foreign affairs and journalism. Her independent project topic is Women’s rights.

  Lola Simon, NY
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School

Lola is passionate about languages and cultures, and she has studied Japanese since she was in 8th grade. She has won a National Silver medal in Japanese Level 2 and is the President of her school’s Japanese National Honor Society. She is also the president of her school’s photography club. In the future, Lola wishes to pursue a career in international relations focusing on human rights. Her independent project topic is Women’s rights.

Joshua Torres, NY
High School for Math Science and Engineering

Joshua is an independent and cheerful student who is an accomplished young leader. He volunteers as a part of his schools summer and Saturday tutoring programs. He is undecided about which field he would like to pursue in the future, but he is interested in medicine, history and language. His independent project topic is aging society and declining birth rate.

Spring 2018 Japanese Junior Fellows

  Naoya Chonan, Tokyo
Waseda University Senior High School

Positive and cheerful, Naoya is a natural leader who has been very active in international activities as well as in the classroom. He was recently selected as a student ambassador for International symposiums in Korea where he demonstrated his leadership abilities. He believes that publications can impact people’s life greatly and aim to be an editor and writer. He is also an excellent athlete who enjoys snowboarding, baseball and handball. Naoya has chosen “Women’s rights” as his topic for independent study during the program. This is Naoya’s first time to visit the US.

Rena Hayashi, Saitama
Urawa Girl’s Upper Secondary School

Exceling in science and having a strong sense of social justice, Rena is particularly interested in career as a doctor or engineer who helps developing countries improve their situation. Most recently she travelled to London, where she researched the development of A.I. in robots. She also practices Japanese traditions such as Kendo, calligraphy, and flower arrangement. Rena has chosen to conduct research on “Women’s rights” for her independent project with a focus on the issue of discrimination against female doctors.

  Mahiro Kawamoto, Hiroshima
National Institute of Technology, Kure College

Mahiro’s goal is to become an architect who can work globally. He is particularly interested in eco-friendly, sustainable designs in architecture. During his time in the US, he hopes to experience US architectural space, design, and history, providing experience that will serve as foundation for his future career. Mahiro’s research is on “Environmental Issues,” with a particular focus on architecture’s role in reducing energy and CO2 emissions. This is his very first time to travel to overseas.

Mizuho Kodama, Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi Prefectural Yamaguchi High School

Mizuho comes to the US with a strong interest in international workers’ rights and defending the victims of unfair child labor. Passionate about the role broadcasting can play in supporting these issues, her career goal is to become a reporter or a staff member for the United Nations. She is an active member of her school’s broadcasting club and has participated in the annual National Broadcasting Competition in Tokyo. She also enjoys table-tennis, science, and engages in community conservation efforts. Her research is on “Environmental Issues,” with a particular focus on plastic bottle recycling practices. This is Mizuho’s first time abroad.

  Ryo Kohara, Fukui
Hokuriku Gakuen Hokuriku High School

Ryo’s passion is economics and entrepreneurship, which was sparked when he was just 10 years old and living in Shanghai. Now a second year high school student, Ryo is already the CEO of his own company, RUProduction, which provides marketing services, manages talent, and creates logos. While upkeep and growing his business takes a large part of his time, Ryo also enjoys photography. Ryo has chosen to examine the role of Japan and the United States in Asia’s growing economy and the critical importance of supporting entrepreneurial efforts. This is his first time to visit the US.

Mayu Nakata, Iwate
Iwate Prefectural Kuji High School

Mayu has a strong interest in Japanese history and Japanese subcultures. She is also a skilled pianist and enjoys singing, playing badminton and snowboarding. Inspired by local doctors’ response to the Tohoku earthquake in her region, she hopes to become a doctor, herself. Mayu’s independent project is on Immigration, with a specific focus on the importance of supporting foreign doctors’ integration into Japanese and American communities. This is her first time abroad.

  Shingo Nonaka, Tokyo
Jiyu Gakuen High School

Shingo is also an avid soccer player of 12 years and enjoys reading, listening to music, and playing shogi (Japanese chess). In addition to being the founder and leader of his school’s shogi club, Shingo has also demonstrated a commiment to leadership and community through his weekly volunteer work with senior citizens. Shingo has chosen to focus on “Immigration” for his independent project, paying special attnetion to immigration’s role in the economy. This is his first time abroad.

Toshiki Okamoto, Tokyo
Gyosei Senior High School

Toshiki is an independent and creative student with a passion for technology. At his school, he has helped build robots, remote control cars, and other devices in his Electronics club and he enjoys video editing and programming digital art. He is also a skilled magician who enjoys dazzling audiences with clever feats of prestidigitation. Toshiki has chosen to study “Declining Birth Rates and Aging Society” and is particularly interested in examining ways technology might contribute to improved quality of life among senior citizens. This is his first time abroad.

  Kiichi Saito, Tokyo
Seijo High School

Kiichi has a passion for the outdoors and is an active leader in his school and community. He has served as both the President and Treasurer of student council, and recently was awarded the Chrysanthemum (highest) rank in the Boy Scout Association of Japan. He enjoys mountain climbing, camping and swimming. Academically, Kiichi enjoys history and aspires to securing a position in international relations. Kiichi’s independent research is on “Declining Birth Rates and Aging Society” and is interested in examining how the governments might encourage and support growth among their populations.

Miru Yamao, Kanagawa
Yokohama High School of International Studies

Miru is a cheerful and thoughtful student with a deep interest in promoting world peace through intercultural communication and collaboration. She loves meeting new people and learning about different cultures. She hopes to parlay her interests and experiences into a position at the United Nations in the future. Miru has chosen to research the role of Japan and America in Asia with a specific focus on ways each country might promote world peace and mutual understanding.

Summer 2017 Junior Fellows

Jessica Lyn Abele, WA
Marysville Getchell BioMed Academy

Jessica is a high-achieving young lady who desires to inspire those around her to do good. She is Band Student Body President, a leader in her Church Youth Committee and a member of the National Honor Society. She is interested in the study of microbiology, pathology and pharmaceuticals. Her future career goal is to one day become a pathological researcher.

  Sebastian Chang, NJ
Choate Rosemary Hall

Sebastian is an inquisitive and articulate young leader who constantly strives to better himself. He is the co-President of his school’s Art Club and has a strong personal interest for Japanese and East Asian studies. He is currently researching the Japanese social phenomenon of hikikomori for his Senior Capstone project. Sebastian plans to pursue East Asian studies in college and explore an interdisciplinary career path that marries his love for Japanese culture with Foreign Services and international relations.

Aleksandra Gracheva, IL
Stanford U Online HS

Passionate about cultures and people-centered, Aleksandra is an active leader with a natural ability to put those around her at ease. She is a student ambassador for Stanford University Online High School, leader of her school’s Chinese Club and tutors other students in mathematics and Chinese. Aleksandra has a keen interest in Japanese culture, as well as US-Japan relations. Her future career goals involve international relations, in addition to her passion for mathematics and finance. In her spare time, Aleksandra enjoys reading, figure skating and playing tennis.

  Esme Graham, NY
Poly Prep Country Day School

Creative and resourceful, Esme is a skilled writer who manages her own independent history and art journal. She is an active member in her school’s chapter of the Model UN and writes for her school newspaper. Esme’s future career plan is go into either diplomatic or human rights law. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, Crew and creative writing.

Spencer Hodges, NY
Walter G. O’Connel Copiague High School

Spencer is a kind and compassionate individual dedicated to learning and bettering his community. He is president of his school’s gardening club Tree Huggers, where he helped design and build a two-thousand square feet organic garden. Spencer greatly respects and gains peace from nature. He is particularly eager to study the elegant Japanese gardens and learn more about the Japanese values for peace and respect. Spencer’s future career goal is to become a historian and global ambassador managing peace relations.

  Coleman Jackson, MA
Brookline High School

Coleman is a driven young individual passionate about engineering, psychology and chemistry. He is a counselor for his school’s Viking Sports Camp and continuously looks to challenge himself as a leader. Coleman is eager to connect and learn more from professionals in the business field. In the future, Coleman hopes to explore a career in STEM.

Maxwell Li, NY
HS of Math, Science, and Engineering

Max is a natural leader passionate about electrical engineering, programming computers and microcontrollers, and teaching. He is president of his school’s Arduino/Electronics Club and is an active Workshop Leader at E-Waste Warehouse. Max hopes to continue pursuing his love for computers and programming in college and use his skills to solve problems related to environmental and human welfare.

  Nyckole Lopez, NY
The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem

Nyckole is an active student leader passionate about social justice and inclusivity on all fronts. She founded her school’s LGBT + Pride club and is co-director of the Social Justice Club. Alongside her deep admiration for visual and literary arts, she is also greatly interested in world history, politics, sociology and mental health. While continuing to nurture her creative side, Nyckole hopes to one day work in the United Nations to implement policies to improve the livelihood of impoverished of communities in Latin America.

Maggie Parham, NY
The Brearley School

Maggie is a people-centered and artistic young lady. She is a School Tour Guide and is presently making application to become a Senior Peer Leader on her campus. Maggie enjoys photography, art history, theater tech, and languages (French and Japanese). In the future, she hopes to pursue a career path involving art, education or international relations. She also wants to become a trained EMT!

  Gabrielle Rahmin, NJ
Horace Mann HS

Gabrielle is a gifted young lady with a big heart for the community. She seamlessly juggles several leadership positions, each one fighting for a meaningful cause. She is leader of her school’s Service Learning Team, director of international affairs at her school’s Ashita-Tomorrow chapter—an organization that aids students affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami—and leader of her school’s chapter of Girls Who Code. Gabrielle’s future career goal is to become an entrepreneur and combine psychology and computer science to better society.

Spring 2017 Japanese Junior Fellows

  Yuno Fukatsu, Tokyo
Showa Women’s University High School

Yuno’s volunteering experience with minority groups in Thailand inspired her to purse a career as an international lawyer who promotes children’s rights. Having a strong sense of social justice, she is particularly interested in education for girls in developing countries and would like to devote her career to improving their situation. Yuno has been an active member of Student Committee at her school and is a dedicated badminton player.

Kodai Hasunuma, Tokyo
Waseda University Senior High School

Positive, cheerful and charismatic, Kodai is a natural leader who has been very active in Student Committee and his school’s international activities. His career goal is to work in an international organization focusing on immigration and international policy making. Kodai is eager to discuss immigration policy with American students. He is also an excellent athlete who enjoys tennis, sport climbing, and rugby.

  Shinnosuke Ito, Aichi
Aichi Prefectural Asahigaoka Senior High School

Shinnosuke has a strong interest in culture and its preservation. As an avid practitioner of calligraphy and seal carving, he plans to study anthropology and work to research and protect the cultures of the world. With his studious and focused demeanor, he wishes to share the mysteries of ancient traditions, particularly classical Chinese characters. He currently serves as captain of the calligraphy club as well as the kendo club at his school.

Daisuke Kuroki, Miyazaki
Miyazaki Nishi High School

Daisuke aspires to work as a diplomat and contribute to his country by being an effective leader for world peace. His interests also include environmental issues and he has done extensive research in this area. Mature, earnest, and a good listener, Daisuke is a trusted leader at his school. He is the captain of the tennis club and a member of the school chorus.

  Momoko Mizuta, Hyogo
Kobe Municipal Fukiai High School

Growing up in a household of educators, Momoko has developed a strong interest in the education of children living in poverty. She explores this and other global issues as a member of the Global Studies Society at her school. During a recent trip to Sweden, she was further inspired to pursue a career in education so she can help improve the educational standard of those living in developing countries. Momoko also enjoys nature and belongs to the outdoor activity club at her school.

Ryuki Nakayama, Kanagawa
Seiko Gakuin High School

Ryuki’s positive, open-minded and highly communicative manner were fostered while he lived in the U.S. as a young child. After his return to Japan, he successfully served as captain of his junior high school's baseball team, leading 80 team members. Currently, he is a promised candidate for President of Student Council. Ryuki plans to study economics at an American university and hopes to be a business consultant who connects Japan and Asia to the world.

  Sae Sato, Iwateo
Kozukata High School

Sae grew up in Tohoku and became an active volunteer fundraiser after the Great East Japan Earthquake. She is eager to contribute to the field of foreign language education by acting as a role model and nurturing younger generations. Sae is a thoughtful listener and a talented pianist.

Shion Shibata, Tokyo
Tokyo Metropolitan Mita High School

Shion’s goal is to become a diplomat who can contribute to Japan and play a role in the global community. Open-minded and focused, Shion leads in a collaborative and harmonious way. She has served as a trusted leader of her school volleyball club.

  Raiku Shiraira, Kanagawa
Yokohama High School of International Studies

A study tour to Cambodia inspired Raiku to pursue a career with international organizations that work in developing countries. His goal is to cultivate more global collaboration in order to improve educational opportunities in developing countries. As an active young leader in his community, Raiku has volunteered in various capacities, including supporting children with autism, donation collection, community clean-up, environmental campaigns, and helping with the Asia sports festival.

Nanako Ueda, Okayama
Konko Gakuen High School

Nanako demonstrates strong leadership as a reliable Student Council President and contributes to bettering the school environment. She is always at the center of all school activities. Her international living experiences in England and South Korea give her a wide perspective and broad interests. Nanako has conducted research on education in Asia and has a strong interest in the field. She plans to pursue a career that enables her to support children’s and women’s educational rights.


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