Three Young Japanese Leaders with Disabilities Selected for the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America – Working Toward a Community of Independence and Mutual Cooperation –
As a continued effort to cultivate the next generation of leaders, the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, is initiating the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America with the generous support of Northrop Grumman Corporation.
This new program is implemented by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at UMass Boston. Since 1960, ICI has tackled challenges and led efforts to enhance the inclusion and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.
After a prestigious selection process, Yui Awai, Toshiko Kudo, and Tomomi Takata, three young Japanese individuals with disabilities between the ages of 18-35, were chosen to participate in this intensive five-month disability leadership and advocacy training in Boston, Massachusetts. While experiencing a long-term internship, the participants will learn about the importance of community service and self-support. The goal is for them to contribute to their communities in Japan in disability leadership roles.
One of the participants, Toshiko Kudo, who has actively supported the independence of people with disabilities through peer counseling stated, “In the United States, people with disabilities are respected and admired as individuals, and through this program I wish to attain leadership skills to continue empowering people with disabilities. I believe that my community and I should take leadership to tackle and solve the societal issues surrounding disabilities.”
Jack Dorsett, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Japan, commented, “Northrop Grumman is delighted to support this TOMODACHI Program that gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to travel, broaden their perspectives and hone their leadership skills. We look forward to welcoming Awai-san, Kudo-san and Takata-san back to Japan after their five months in the U.S. to hear what they have learned and how they will apply this valuable experience.”
Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council, commented, “Thanks to the generosity of Northrop Grumman Corporation, the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America will help empower youth with disabilities and foster the next generation of leaders. We look forward to hearing about their experience in the United States and how they plan to contribute to their communities in Japan upon their return.”
TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America (Schedule)
|7/29||Depart for Boston|
|7/30 – 8/12||Orientation and Preparation|
|8/15 – 12/9||Internship kicks off
Participants interact through English language training, American Sign Language (ASL) Training, and Weekly Group Seminars
|12/20||Arrive Back in Japan|
For further information, please contact:
U.S.-Japan Council (Japan), TOMODACHI Initiative, Communications Department, Horita/Noguchi, TEL: 03-4510-3400, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Northrop Grumman, U.S., Gustav Gulmert, TEL: 1-703-280-2732, EMAIL: email@example.com
On behalf of Northrop Grumman in Japan Kitagawa, Edelman Japan, TEL: 03-4360-9000, EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the program, click here
About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.