JET Program Alumni Association of the Southeast
JETAASE August 2017 Newsletter
Newsletter Editor: Yeu-Li Huang
In This Issue
2017 JETAA USA National Conference + JET30 Reunion Recap
Hi fellow JET alumni,
 
My name is Yeu-Li Huang, and I currently serve on the JETAASE board as secretary and newsletter editor. I had the pleasure of representing the Southeast chapter at the 2017 JETAA USA National Conference as well as attending the first ever national JET reunion event, JET30 Reunion, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of the JET Program. Both were held in Washington DC during August of this year.

Each time I attend a National Conference, I'm amazed at the efforts and accomplishments of the JETAA USA chapters as a whole. Alumni have been hard at work supporting potential, current, and former JETs; the following list only touches upon a few of the many events that the chapters have implemented:
  • The Chicago chapter held a survival event series spanning several days to prepare new JETs for Japan.
  • The Northern California chapter has been awarding scholarships for several years to high school students who are interested in Japan, funded through members' fundraising efforts.
  • Many chapters have been building chapter nest egg through various efforts to support diverse chapter activities.
  • Subchapters set up to provide a network for JETs residing outside the main chapter's geographic area have been going strong, e.g. Monterey Bay and Pittsburgh.
  • Board members across all chapters are planning for the future with the following goals in mind: strengthening the board, strengthening membership, providing chapter transparency, creating a knowledge repository, increasing the ease on onboarding new board members and transitioning leadership, and more. This is a topic close to my heart since JETAASE would love to see "new blood," so to speak!
The chapters have always been supported by the CLAIR arm of the Japanese government, and in more recent years by USJETAA, an independent non-profit organization with the goal to support US chapters. USJETAA is run by Paige Cottingham-Streater and Laurel Lukaszewski, JET alumni who have been instrumental in helping JETAA be recognized as a national organization.

Note: The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in collaboration with USJETAA, currently offers funding to develop and create event programs to increase membership (https://spfusa.org/programs/jet-alumni-association-grant-program/). Deadline is September 5, 2017.

Now onto JET30 Reunion!

JET30 Reunion was the JET Program's 30th anniversary celebration inviting all JET alumni, family & friends at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel. It featured the following themes:
  • Celebrate - 30 years of cultural exchange
  • Reconnect - to Japan and JETs from around the world
  • Reminisce - with old friends and discover new ones
The reunion was the result of the hard work of the JET30 planning committee and volunteers. It would not have been possible without the help of supporters and sponsors, including the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and CLAIR. In addition, the Embassy of Japan graciously invited all JET30 participants to the ambassador's residence for an evening reception on Friday.

JET30 was truly a reunion of JETs from all over the country, and even included JETs from Jamaica and Brazil. I myself connected with tons of new people-JETs who went to Japan before I did, JETs who went to Japan after I did, JETs who worked in the same town I did, and JETs who live in Atlanta that I'd never met before.

JET30 featured many interesting panels, lectures, and discussions, with topics ranging from the economic and political state of Japan, to networking and career support, to films directed by Seijun Suzuki, to Japanese youkai and haunted houses. I was impressed with the breadth and depth of knowledge that JET panelists obtained through their professional careers and social interests.

The last event of JET30 Reunion, the Natsu Matsuri, encouraged guests to come dressed in Japanese festival clothing such as yukata and jinbei. It kicked off with a sake kanpai and ended with fireplace gathering of JETs recollecting memorable experiences in Japan. All in all, the event truly lived up to its "natsukaii" billing.

Learn more about the National Conference at http://www.jetaausa.com/conferences/2017-national-conference/

Watch another JET alum's recap at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Qz3XqtgrE





Fill Out the JETAASE 30th Reunion Event Poll
For those who were unable to make it to JET30 Reunion in Washington DC but really wanted to go, JETAASE is interested in hosting our own JET 30th Reunion event.

We want to have as many members as possible participate to make this a big JETAASE event (it will be FAMILY and KIDS friendly), but we will need everyone's input and help to make it happen! 

If you are a member, please help us by filling out the poll below! This will help us plan and coordinate efforts. If you know other JETs, please pass the word.

Volunteers Needed at JapanFest Sept 16th-17th, 2017
JapanFest, the Southeast's biggest annual festival celebrating all things Japan, will be held on September 16th-17th at the Gwinnett Center.
 
If you are going, consider volunteering at the JETAASE Booth for a few hours. At our booth, we connect with JET alumni who may not be aware of JETAASE and recruit for/promote the JET Program.  

  • If you would like to volunteer for the JET booth, please fill out the signup form in its entirety and you will be contacted ASAP with further info.The average shift is between 3-4 hours. Volunteers receive tickets for themselves and a guest if needed.  
  • Bring memorabilia and photos from Japan to help share your experience with potential JETs! 
JapanFest Details:

Date and Time: September 16th 10 AM - 6 PM, September 17th 10 AM - 5 PM
Location: Infinite Energy Center
Address: 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth GA 30097 
Upcoming JETAASE Events
Keep your calendars open for the following JETAASE events:

JETAASE Membership Meeting (September 18, 2017)

JETAASE will have a membership meeting by webinar. Topics to be covered include:
  • Recap of NC +Jet30.
  • JET30 in Atlanta + other upcoming events
  • Strengthening board and membership
Date and Time: Sept 18, 2017 8 PM
Locationhttps://zoom.us/j/7380142827 or use Personal Meeting ID 738-014-2827

JASG YP/JETAASE Family Picnic and Undokai (date TBD)

JETAASE and JASG will co-host the annual family picnic and undokai. Join us for
an afternoon of fun, good food, and friendship while the weather is still good. There will be food, drinks, games, and special door prizes! This is a family and kids friendly event.

Language Studies: Atlanta Japanese Conversation Group
Those of you who are looking to brush up on your Japanese and converse with other language learners are welcome to join the "Atlanta Japanese Conversation Meetup," a weekly Japanese conversation group held in Atlanta and organized by members from JETAASE.

The purpose is to create a fun environment for speaking in Japanese. Everyone is welcome at whatever level of Japanese they are capable of speaking.  There is no formal plan of study - however, each session tries to cover a topic or content point.

If you are interested in checking it out, please see the website below for more details:

JETAASE | | jetaase@yahoo.com | http://jetaase.squarespace.com

Contributions to the newsleter are welcome! 
JETAASE, 636 North Avenue #6D, Jonesboro, GA 30236
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