On February 7, a JASH selection committee selected six 11-year-old students (three boys and three girls) to represent Hawaii as JASH Junior Ambassadors (JAs) at the 27th Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC), which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from July 9 – 22, 2015. A total of 232 children from 45 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region have been invited to participate this year. The delegation will be led by JASH volunteer Kevin Matsuda, Executive Director of the Hawaii Council on Economic Education.
This year, JASH received a total of 40 applicants from Oahu’s private and public schools. After a day of interviews and group workshops held at the JASH office, the final six JAs were selected: Luke Cisneros (Aina Haina Elementary); Landon Hung (Maryknoll School); Landon Kimura (Moanalua Elementary); Chloe Kwok (St. Patrick School); Gianni Ma (University Laboratory School) and Tierra Nakamura (Pearl Ridge Elementary).
The students will spend one Saturday each month from now until July preparing for their trip to Fukuoka. The workshops are designed to develop teamwork skills and build students’ knowledge about Japan, Japan-Hawaii ties, cultural etiquette and the 44 other countries and cities that will be sending delegates to the Convention. Each delegation is required to give a cultural performance unique to that country or region. The Hawaii delegation will be performing a Hawaiian chant and hula at the Convention.
The first workshop was held at the JASH office on Saturday, February 28. The new Junior Ambassadors and their parents both attended and learned more about JASH, the APCC and their responsibilities as a JA. They also had a chance to meet the 2014 JAs and parents and hear about their experiences in the program last year. The two groups had the chance to get to know each other better after the workshop through a potluck arranged by the 2014 delegation.
The next workshop for the 2015 APCC Junior Ambassadors will be held on Saturday, March 28.