JASH APCC Alumna Betsy Wo Selected for Special Peace Ambassador Program
The Japan-America Society of Hawaii is excited to announce Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) Alumna Betsy Wo has been selected to represent JASH and the Bridge Club of Hawaii (BCH) in the APCC’s Special Peace Ambassador Program for 2022. Betsy originally participated in the APCC as a Junior Ambassador in 2011.
Introducing 2022 Peace Ambassador Betsy Wo (JA 2011)
The APCC typically invites its alumni to return to Fukuoka as Peace Ambassadors (PAs) alongside their annual Junior Ambassador (JA) activities. PAs participate in leadership and teamwork training exercises, strengthen their connections with other youth leaders throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and collaboratively develop action plans to build their local Bridge Clubs (APCC alumni organizations).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the APCC has been unable to convene its annual JA and PA programs in Fukuoka, and instead connected youth through Zoom workshops. As international travel restrictions begin to ease, the APCC created a Special Peace Ambassador Program for 2022 to be held in Fukuoka in late October 2022. The aim of the Special PA Program is to enhance participants’ skills to lead their local Bridge Clubs, with the ultimate goal in fostering them as Global BRIDGE Leaders.
Through a careful application process, APCC Alumna Betsy Wo (2011) will represent JASH and BC Hawaii in the Special PA Program. In preparing for the program, Betsy would like to share the following message with all of our JASH supporters:
The 2011 Hawaii APCC Junior Ambassadors and Peace Ambassadors
Fond memories with her host family and friends in Kashihara, Fukuoka
“In 2011, I was overjoyed when JASH selected me, eleven years old at the time, to represent Hawaii and share my culture with kids from all over the world. In my short time in Japan, I learned about creating and maintaining global connections.
That same year, a tragic disaster decimated the Tohoku Region of Japan. I was overwhelmed when I was selected for a special service trip through the TOMODACHI initiative program with the mission of connecting with the devastated survivors to help regain hope. Even though three years had passed since the disaster, upon arrival, I felt the distressed atmosphere as I witnessed crumbled buildings and gray harbors overflowing with garbage. I was grateful to have helped even a little, by joking with the survivors, teaching hula, and cleaning up their beach with TSUNAGARI. The air was filled with smiles and laughter – my own spirit was uplifted through the depth of their resilience.
Connecting with Japanese students during the TOMODACHI Initiative service trip
With this new awareness, I started creating a plan to immerse myself in different languages and cultures to impact communities in need. This year, I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Linguistics and Psychology, and a minor in Asian Languages, while also exploring my passions through volunteering, work, and travel. I will be furthering my studies at the University of Hawaii Manoa in communication sciences and disorders to pursue a degree in Speech Pathology, as I hope to make a difference through therapy.
Thanks to JASH and BCH, my dream has been to connect with and impact people from all over the world through my language and communication skills. I am thoroughly excited to continue growing as a global citizen through the special Peace Ambassador program to further international communication and understanding between different cultural groups.”
Please join us in congratulating Betsy for her selection as our 2022 Peace Ambassador!
To learn more about our JASH APCC Program, please contact Program Coordinator Christianne Ono at firstname.lastname@example.org.