On January 19, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held Junior Ambassador Interviews to select six, 10- to 11-year-old students to represent Hawaii and the United States at the 31st Annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC), which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan from July 14 – 25, 2019. The Junior Ambassadors will participate in a week-long exchange program where they will have the opportunity to meet over 200 students from 40 different countries, provinces, and cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The chaperone this year will be former Junior Ambassador and Peace Ambassador Mr. Colby Takeda.
JASH received a total of 32 applications from private, public, and public charter schools from across the state. After a day of interviews and group workshops held at the JASH office, the final six Junior Ambassadors were selected: Kristen Barrera (Aina Haina Elementary), Ella Bosworth (Noelani Elementary), Caleb Kagawa (Momilani Elementary), Anuhea Kealoha (Wilson Elementary), Jalen Matsuura (Momilani Elementary), and Carter Nobuhara (Punahou School).
The APCC is dedicated to promoting international relationships among children in hopes that they will mature into adults with a strong sense of social responsibility. To prepare them for the trip, the students will spend one Saturday each month from now until July in JASH’s Junior Ambassador training program. Each workshop is designed to develop teamwork skills and build students’ knowledge about Japan, Hawaii, and cultural etiquette of the over 40 other delegations expected to be present at the APCC this summer.
The first workshop was held at the JASH office on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The new Junior Ambassadors and their parents had the opportunity to learn more about JASH, the APCC, and the responsibilities as a Junior Ambassador. They also had a chance to meet the 2018 delegation and hear about their experience from the program last year.
JASH is excited for the opportunity to send another delegation to the APCC, and we look forward to nurturing the next generation of young leaders. Thank you to all of the JASH supporters that allow us to make this program possible.