Reflection from Kay Makishi (ELP ’13)
Participating in ELP gave me a renewed sense of motivation, purpose and responsibility to U.S.-Japan relations. I currently serve as Chair for National AJET – representing over 4,300 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) participants from 40 countries in Japan. Last month, I led my first AJET Opinion Exchange with the Japanese government. I was enthused to be representing not only JET participants nationwide but also the U.S.-Japan Council as an Associate Member.
Personally, as the only female executive member of the AJET National Council, I look up to many of the USJC female members as role models. Seeing Japanese-American women being successful in their respective industries motivates me to keep striving to do my best and make our community proud.
Also, thanks to the connections I made at the USJC Annual Conference, I was invited as a panelist for a conference held at Waseda University in Tokyo. I was surprised (and yet not at the same time) to see fellow ELPs there. It really changed the tone of the conference when I was able to greet other panelists and participants with a familiar hug. With ELP, my network keeps multiplying greatly. This is all just within a few months after participating in ELP. I can’t wait to see how these connections will develop years from now!
Thank you again to everyone who supports ELP for laying the foundation for us – you’re making our professional journey fun.
– Kay Makishi (Fukuoka, Japan)