Bryson’s Photo: Hope for the Future through Students

I took this photo of Chidera Obiwuma and Ui Onomi during the Blue Star of Life event at the Kennedy Center on October 31st. They were the MCs of the presentation, and worked together fantastically.

To me, this photo represents hope for the United States and Japan. Here, we see two students of these two nations – who had never met previously – working towards stronger bonds between their home countries. Each of them used the knowledge that they gained from their studies at school so they could cooperate effectively. As an attendee of the Blue Star of Life event, I could clearly see how their compiled energy and understanding of each other contributed to the success of the program.

As an American student who is studying Japanese, Chidera and Ui’s cooperation embodies my hope for Japan and the United States. I want to see the bonds between these two countries grow as I age, and I would love to contribute to that increase. I worked behind the scenes for this program, planning the activities with a Japanese university student named Matsuki Koh, and it was excellent practice for the future I plan to have with Japanese environmentalists. Every student shone at the Blue Star of Life, and I look forward to future opportunities for collaboration with Japanese citizens, be it through Globalize D.C. or opportunities later in life.

Bryson Torgovitsky

Rakiya’s Photo

In this picture, Skyy Genies and Chidera Onyeka are presenting a short skit. The short skit focuses on invitations, as well as the months and days in Japanese. This photo symbolizes our hard work as Japanese students who dedicate our time and efforts into learning and making progress through this program. Although performing skits is not my favorite thing to do, I continue to be appreciative because they aid me to become better with speaking Japanese.

Rakiya Washington

Raven’s Photo

Cha Cha Slide

This picture shows our Japanese Plus group teaching a popular American line dance to a group of Japanese exchange students that were with the Kakehashi program. My favorite part of the Japanese Plus Program is that we are able to utilize the Japanese learned in class with native speakers that are closer to our age. But more than that, our work with the Kakehashi program has raised our cultural awareness and understanding of Japan.

Raven Bluford

Charity’s Photo

This is a photo of Shiori – one of the visiting students from Okinawa – and me at the end of the Kakehashi visit on Nov. 4. We were both pretty nervous at first, but we bonded through our interests and ended up having a lot of fun while learning about each other’s home country. I chose this photo because it shows the connections we create at Japanese Plus by enjoying the similarities and appreciating the differences. I look forward to getting to know more people in the future.

Charity Chukwu

Chi’s Photo

In this image, the class is singing “Otanjobi Omedeto” which means “Happy Birthday” to Bryson, whose birthday was on the first day of Japanese Plus year 2. This image displays our unity and love for each other. Togetherness is a prevalent aspect of Japanese Plus that I value.

Chi Onyeka

Skyy’s Photo

This picture perfectly depicts the intimate and fun environment in which we learn new things about Japan from culture to language, and exchange ideas about current events facing our own country and Japan. Japanese language can be hard sometimes, but with the diversity of our skills and knowledge, we help and support each other to get past our obstacles.

Skyy Genies

Jeff’s Photo

At Embassy of Japan

This picture shows me and my colleagues with university students from Japan, who participated in the Blue Star of Life Ceremony alongside us. The event commemorated the 163rd Anniversary of the Japan-US Treaty of Peace and Amity. This picture was taken after our visit to the Japanese Embassy and our discussion of global concerns. From the discussion, I was able to better understand how important our relationship is and why it should be preserved. This is something I would have never known, if it wasn’t for Japanese Plus and the copious opportunities that it provides!

Jeff Jenkins