Japan in DC

Did you realize you can experience Japan without ever leaving DC?

Program Overview

Japan in DC, introduced in summer 2017, is a free six-week summer enrichment program for DC public high school students (DCPS and charter). Eighteen (18) students spent the summer exploring a wide variety of people, places, and organizations in the city with a connection to Japan. The program was offered as a worksite for students registered with the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), and was also open to students not in SYEP. Non-SYEP students were eligible to earn community service hours they can use to fulfill their high school graduation requirements.

The Japan in DC program was designed for DC high school students to accomplish these goals:

  1. To increase their knowledge of/familiarity with a wide range of Japan-related content.
  2. To become more familiar with their city.
  3. To understand the ways in which DC is a global city.
  4. To enhance academic skills (such as writing, listening, critical thinking)
  5. To acquire work-readiness skills and experience.
  6. To develop two projects designed to share what they’ve learned over the summer to a wider audience.
  7. To gain life lessons through intergenerational conversation.
  8. To gain knowledge of Japan-related college/career pathways.

Our Students

Here are our 2017 Japan in DC students.

Our Teachers

Chanae Brown is a lover of Japan and Japanese culture. She earned her BA in English, with a minor in Japanese Studies, from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. While in college, she did a semester abroad program at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. After graduation, she became a JET Assistant Language Teacher in Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture in rural Japan, where she taught English to elementary and middle school students. Just before joining our Japan in DC summer program, Chanae earned her MA from the International Training and Education Program (ITEP) at American University, where she also worked as a research, graduate, and teaching assistant in the School of Education. She served as Co-Chair of the Logistics Committee for the National Cherry Blossom Festival-Sakura Matsuri, and in her spare time volunteered with the DC Language Immersion Project to facilitate events that advocate for language learning equity within the DC region.

Heidi Ashton Yoon
came to Japan in DC from the International Student and Scholars Services Office at American University. She has had a connection to Japan since her father was stationed at a military base outside of Tokyo when she was in middle school. She later spent two years on the JET Program in Okayama-ken, teaching high school students English. Since that time her life has intertwined with Japan in many ways and she remains passionate about teaching others about Japanese life and culture. She has led leadership simulations to US high school students as part of the National Young Leadership Conference; taught elementary school students about Japanese culture through the JICC’s “Japan In a Suitcase Program”; and created pre-departure trainings for JET participants. She earned her BA in History at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA, and her MA in Sociology: International Training and Education Program (ITEP), with a concentration in cross-cultural communication, from American University, DC.

What’s Next

Students who successfully completed the Japan in DC program were eligible to participate in the next Japanese Plus Level 1 program in SY2018-19. Four students chose this option.

At the conclusion of the summer program, a group of students and staff have been working to complete two culminating projects – a publication and a city tour, called “Japan in DC.” We expect these will be ready some time in 2019.

Globalize DC is currently making plans to develop a school-year version of Japan in DC, with the goal of offering the full summer program in 2020.

To receive updates on the progress of Japan in DC and our Japan programs, you can sign up for our email list HERE.