In 2017, Sasakawa USA was delighted to continue its partnership with the US Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme Alumni Association (USJETAA) in offering a competitive mini-grant program vis-à-vis the JET Alumni Associations (JETAAs) chapters and subchapters within the United States.
Through this initiative, funded by Sasakawa USA and administered by USJETAA, small grants were awarded to JETAA Chapters and Subchapters in the United States to fund innovative activities that engaged JET alumni in their communities and promoted understanding and friendship between the United States and Japan.
In its second year of the program—which follows the Japanese fiscal year from April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018—Sasakawa USA and USJETAA awarded a total of six grants to five JETAA chapters. The selected proposals were:
Pacific Northwest JETAA, “PNWJETAA”: Transitions
Program Date: October 21, 2017
As one of PNWJETAA’s largest events, “Transitions” draws from the experiences of alumni and members of the community to help returned JETs transition back to work in the United States. Participating JET alums learn how to write effective resumes and discuss how their JET experience can be applied to other jobs. PNWJETAA covers JET alumni living in Washington State, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana.
JETAA Rocky Mountain: JETAA Career Counseling
Program Dates: September 5, 2017 – January 31, 2018
JETAA Rocky Mountain, which represents JET alumni living in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico, organized an event with a professional career counselor and JET Program Alumna, Emily Frank, who offered career counseling to newly returned JETs.
JETAA New York: Expanding the Bridge: JETAA NY Webinar Series for Professional, Community & Career Engagement
Program Dates: October 2017 – January 2018
JETAANY organized this webinar series for its members to learn about career options for newly returned JETs, how to make a career change, how to translate passion into a career path, overall professional development for JET alumni, and networking opportunities. The JETAANY chapter includes JET alumni living in New York and eastern Pennsylvania with official sub-chapters in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
JETAA Texoma: JET30 The Past, The Now … and How Your Role is Still Significant
Program Date: December 9, 2017
“JET30 The Past, The Now … and How Your Role is Still Significant” was an opportunity for JET alumni and Texoma board members to present on the importance and impact of JET, JETAA Texoma’s 2018 goals, and how the alumni can continue to stay involved and supportive of the U.S.-Japan relationship. It also served as a professional networking opportunity for all who attended with the goal of fostering and promoting JETAA Texoma members’ continued engagement with Japan and strengthening their relationships with the local community members in Texas and Oklahoma.
JETAA Heartland: 40th Anniversary of Independence and Higashimurayama – Japanese Garden Beautification Project
Program Date: January 27, 2018
In January 2018, JETAA Heartland hosted an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Independence, Missouri, and Higashimurayama, Japan. Prior to the event, JETAA Heartland had beautification work done to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Independence, Missouri. The event itself offered professional networking opportunities for JET Alumni, Japan America Society members, and Sister City members, and featured speeches from the JETAA Heartland board and the Independence Sister City Council that highlighted and celebrated the connection between Independence and Higashimurayama, the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship, and the JET’s and JET alumni’s contribution to those connections. JETAA Heartland represents JET alumni living in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
JETAA New York: Building Cultural Bridges: JETAANY’s 30th Anniversary Gala
Program Date: February 3, 2018
JETAANY Gala celebrated the JET Program’s many years of successful grassroots exchange and its positive impact on U.S.-Japan relations. The event welcomed 130 guests and highlighted the cultural connections and underpinnings that: strengthen relationships; create better understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship for both JETs, friends of JETs, and the public through publications; and feature speakers to unpack the relevance of the occasion.
You can read more information on each program on the USJETAA website.