TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework 2022 Kicked Off with the Three-days Orientation
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework kicked off with a three-day virtual orientation on March 19, 20 and 27, 2022. The structure will engage and connect alumni in five regions across Japan and four regions in the United States. The Orientation was attended by twelve Regional Representatives (RRs) from Japan and the United States and provided the opportunity to get to know each other, share ideas and plans for their regional activities, reflect on their leadership style, and connect with supporters of the program: Prudential and the U.S. Embassy.
One of the highlights of this orientation was the keynote speech by Stephanie Nitahara, an alumna of the U.S.-Japan Council Emerging Leaders Program and Senior Program Manager at Community Partners. Her speech focused on how to cultivate a community in times of COVID-19. As an experienced community leader in the nonprofit and public sector, Stephanie shared practical tips on community building, including paying attention to your energy, investing in nurturing relational connections, and being kind and generous while communicating about your boundaries clearly. After the speech, participants asked questions about how to engage senior officers, create inclusive communities, be an authentic leader, and more. Her story provided RRs with insights and practical examples that they can apply to engage their own regional alumni.
Sarah O’Connell, Regional Representative of the New York and Vicinity Region, commented “My key takeaway is that I have a network of peers to support me. I am very happy we are all aligned on what we feel our duties will be as RRs, as well as pleased by the support my fellow RRs gave. I truly feel like I have a community I can rely on to help me navigate my own leadership journey.”
After the keynote speech, the participants recapped what they discussed on Day 1 and 2 respectively and they came up with the idea to create a survey for alumni to gauge their interests. They discussed questions to include and will develop it to send out in mid-April as a next step.
Reika Ishii, Regional Representative of the Kanto Region, commented “I loved hearing others’ insightful ideas. It made me reflect on my own goals and how I want to proceed when planning events.”
The TOMODACHI RISE Leadership Program is made possible with generous support from Prudential.