Now Recruiting for the TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) TOMODACHI Initiative
SoftBank Group Corp.

The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) TOMODACHI Initiative (hereafter “TOMODACHI”) and SoftBank Group Corp. (hereafter “SBG”) are pleased to announce that this year’s “TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 -Building Resilient Communities for the Future-” starts accepting applications today.

This 6-month program starting in June 2024, will be for 15 (tentative) high school and university students (who were living in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and are currently living in these prefectures). Students will learn about community contribution and leadership at the University of California, Berkeley (hereafter “UC Berkeley”) in the U.S. and other institutions for approximately 3 weeks starting July 30. They will also learn how to develop ideas to solve social issues, plan and execute them, and create action plans to solve each issue.

In December, the participants will share the process and results of the program at the final presentation. Mentors with experience in entrepreneurship development and regional revitalization in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures will support the participants from planning to implementation of the action plans after their return.

The “TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 - Building Resilient Communities for the Future-” is an expansion of the “TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program,” which has been held since 2012 with funding from SBG. The program has provided more than 1,000 high school and university students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures with opportunities to learn about community service and leadership. It has also nurtured young leaders in the Tohoku region.

Dr. Deborah McKoy, the co-implementer of the program at UC Berkeley, shared the impact of the TOMODACHI program as below:

"TOMODACHI program participants not only learn powerful community development leadership skills from the Y-PLAN (Youth - Plan, Learn, Act, Now) community development methodology but act on this knowledge in Japan. Throughout the three weeks at UC Berkeley, students will engage with professionals and civic leaders in planning, development, and social entrepreneurship gaining important skills as well as learning about the professional contexts of conducting community development work in the U.S. and globally. Under experienced mentors’ guidance, the program participants will learn that the work they do as young leaders today can grow into a lifetime career that is not only meaningful to them but transformative for their communities and Japan as a whole.”

About TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 -Building Resilient Communities for the Future-

Application CriteriaHigh school and university students (who were living in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and are currently live in these prefectures)
Number of Participants15 (tentative)
Program LocationUC Berkeley, in the U.S. and other locations

Schedule (tentative)

Orientation (online)Sunday, June 23, 2024
U.S. TripTuesday, July 30 – Saturday, August 17, 2024 (Arriving in Japan on the next day)
Action Plan Implementation PeriodAugust – November 2024
Final PresentationSunday, December 8, 2024

Applications

Application PeriodFriday, March 8 – Friday, April 19, 2024
Participant SelectionMid-May 2024 (tentative)
Application DetailsPlease see the application details (Japanese).

About the TOMODACHI Initiative

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the Government of Japan. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The initiative seeks to foster a “TOMODACHI Generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.

Visit us at www.tomodachi.org

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