By Teresa Fong (ALT, Seritsu Gakuen, Tokyo)
JETs are everywhere, and the event I went to in February really sealed the case.
At the JET Alumni Association Reception, I met many distinguished JET alumni with glittering careers. One example is Jonathan Kushner, a McJET, for he is the current Vice President of Corporate Relations at McDonald's Holdings Company Japan! Thanks to his connections, we had a grand meal in a classy building. Those fries were not good for my health, but it doesn’t hurt once in a while!
I also had the pleasure of meeting Paige Cottingham-Streater, the executive director of Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, who is involved in many U.S.-Japan relationships, such as this coming Olympics. I strive to become like her. She wears many hats and thus, flies from the States to Japan frequently! I asked her how she handles her jetlag and she calmly told me that your body gets used to it. Incredible!
There were about 40 people at the reception, most of them JET alumni. It was great to have a chance to meet them.
In addition, I met the USJETAA Executive Director Bahia Simons-Lane. She was at the reception, but also visited Seiritsu Gakuen with Noyuri Ishikawa, the Youth Outreach Program Coordinator from the U.S. Embassy. We were so immersed in our conversation about study abroad for Japanese students, its declining rates, its barriers, ways to overcome them, and more that they spent an hour extra at our Seiritsu Global Center! Due to hunger pangs, we ended the meeting, but we enjoyed sharing the resources we had.
I really enjoyed the opportunities I had to meet with these powerful leaders. I felt really inspired with what they have done and are doing for the U.S. and Japan.
This blog post has been expanded from the original posting on the Seritsu blog. You can read the original blog here.
About Teresa Fong: Konnichi-hi! I'm Teresa, a Chinese American born in Fiji who unfortunately forgot how to swim. Even so, I am an islander at heart with Boston skin to help me stand the cold. I love learning (currently trying to conquer Adobe Illustrator), traveling (currently eyeing Thailand and Vietnam), eating, and relaxing. Also, I have a soft side for horrible puns; see-you-nara!