Japanese High School Students Learn about Leadership and Dreams at the TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program 2018
Twenty high school students, selected from across Japan, participated in the TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program from August 15 to 29, 2018.
Two months after the Pre-departure Orientation, which took place at Honda Motor Co., Ltd. headquarters in June, the high school students embarked on the program. The students took part in a day-and-a-half long pre-departure program held at a hotel near Narita Airport, where they learned self-introductions in English, practiced public-speaking, and shared their own goals for the program.
After the day-and-a-half long program, the twenty high school students departed for Los Angeles and Torrance in California, and Marysville and Dublin in Ohio. Inspired by the theme “The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s corporate slogan, the students took part in various programs designed to enhance their global leadership skills and prepare participants to navigate their own lives, challenge themselves, and make their dreams come true. The high school students considered their own leadership styles and sought their Power of Dream Cycles, the driver of their dreams.
The first half of the U.S. program took place in Torrance, California, where the participants visited American Honda Motor Co., Inc. headquarters and again learned about the historical success of Honda in the American market, and also received a warm welcome from local staff at a reception. In Little Tokyo, the participants, through music, interacted with local Japanese Americans, including Grammy award-winning musician Daniel Ho. Additionally, a workshop on leadership was conducted, giving the participants an opportunity for self-reflection.
The training then moved to Ohio where the students experienced various programs including a five-day homestay. The host families were arranged through Dublin Coffman High School, a local host school for the program. The participants who experienced America’s cozy homes in the Central West commented that they were able to experience a different culture firsthand, and that it made them want to study English more.
Also, the participants visited Honda’s manufacturing base, Honda of America Mfg., Inc., the oldest and largest Honda factory in the United States. The students had the opportunity to observe plants the general public normally cannot access, and experienced firsthand how the founders’ philosophy continues to be passed on. Additionally, the participants made great efforts communicating in both English and Japanese at an exchange program held at the local high school. From the experience, the high school students who initially expressed hesitancy in speaking in front of people gradually began to gain confidence.
On the final day, the participants returned to Torrance and, at the Honda museum, had the valuable opportunity to meet Takuma Sato, a professional racing driver, and hear firsthand how he is driven by his dreams.
Through taking part in these programs, the participants had many opportunities to contemplate the drivers of their dreams, as well as their leadership styles. During the final presentation, they presented their Power of Dreams Cycles, outlining the challenges to realizing their dreams, the values associated with their dreams, and the drivers that make them happy. The high school students reflected and said, “the dream that I had became more firm;” “my vision of my dream became clearer;” and “I found a new dream.” The TOMODACHI Initiative expects these high school students, full of unknown potential, will continue to build on such valuable experiences, and make further progress to realize their dreams as global leaders.
This program is made possible by the generous sponsorship from Honda Motor Co., Ltd