The TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program provides Japanese high school students from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima—areas affected by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake—the opportunity to attend a fully-paid three-week intensive course on global leadership development and community service at the University of California, Berkley.
This program is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S.-Japan Council, a non-profit organization, and has been sending students abroad every summer since 2012, with 700 students having participated to date.
Students on the program take part in a problem-solving workshop called “Y-PLAN (Youth - Plan, Learn, Act Now!)” to explore ways to improve their local communities. Upon returning to Japan, some participants have gone on to engage in projects to help their local community, such as the planning and reconstruction of local tourism using knowledge gained from Y-PLAN. Through the program, TOMODACHI and SoftBank Group Corp. (“SBG”) provide opportunities and full support for participants to engage in activities that contribute to the reconstruction of disaster-affected areas.