Dear Members and Friends:
The Japan America Society of St. Louis has been awarded a grant from the NAJAS/Tomodachi Grassroots Exchange Program for 2013 and 2014. The goal of this grant is to invest in the next generation of Japanese and American people and deepen relations between the two countries through grassroots level people to people exchanges. Our program, the 2014 St. Louis/Ishinomaki Friendship Program, will take six to eight students and two young adults to Ishinomaki for one week from/around July 26 to August 4, 2014. Ishinomaki is one of the most affected areas of Tohoku from the March 11 Earthquake/Tsunami in 2011. Ishinomaki is located north of Tokyo, near Sendai. It takes 6 hours by car or 3 hours by train from Tokyo to Ishinomaki. During a one week visit to Ishinomaki, American visitors will tour the affected areas, visit volunteer groups who have been involved in the long-term re-construction efforts, and participate in a two-day festival of Ishinomaki, Kawabiraki (River Opening) Festival, which will celebrate its 91st anniversary next year.
Participation to the program is free. Students must be in 7th to 11th grades and at least 12 years of age at the time of application. Two young adults (age 22-34) must be able to have some ability to converse in Japanese. To apply, fill out the application form (including an essay) and submit it along with two letters of recommendations.
We will hold a general information meeting about the program on December 16 (Monday) 2013 and January 14 (Tuesday) 2014 at 5:45-7:15 pm in Room 331 SSB (Social Science and Business Building) at UMSL. Applicants are required to attend one of these meetings. For 7th-11th grade applicant, at least one parent must also attend the meeting.
The deadline for applications is February 15, 2014. There will be an interview in February and the finalists will be chosen in March 2014. We will also meet with the parent/guardian of 7th-11th grader applicants. Selection preferences will be given to the members of the Japan America Society of St. Louis.
Selected participants’ families are expected to become the members of the Society.
To attend the meeting, please contact the office of Japan America Society of St. Louis at (314) 516-5754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you the direction to UMSL.
Chikako Usui Joel Glassman
President Executive Director