A leader in international education, academic exchange, and overseas language immersion, American Councils for International Education creates opportunities that prepare individuals and institutions for success in an increasingly interconnected world. American Councils developed and manages the TOMODACHI U.S. Japan Youth Exchange Program, and coordinates the work of its various partner organizations.
Globalize DC is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that promotes and supports global education in DC K-12 public schools, and brings extensive experience with student exchanges and other international programs. It serves as the local DC partner for student recruitment, selection, preparation, and follow-up programming, and worked with American Councils to develop the summer TOMODACHI USJYEP programs in DC since 2013.
Common Earth Co.
Common Earth was established with the mission to create experiences that bridge people together, closer to nature, to inspire and implement social change. Emerging from and based in Japan’s Tohoku region that was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Common Earth offers through design and operation, experiences such as tours and exchange programs for cultural and environmental learning, as well as language consulting to foster a stronger bridge across the globe and gateway to empower individuals and institutions toward a world of coexistence. Common Earth Co. is responsible for designing and implementing the Japan-based USJYEP program, and facilitated the selection and preparation of the Japanese student participants since 2013.
Keio has a proud history as Japan’s first private institution of higher learning, dating back to the formation in 1858 of a school for Dutch studies in Edo (now Tokyo). Since the school’s founding, the students of Keio have been at the forefront of innovation in every academic field, emerging as political, social and economic leaders.
Keio Shonan Fujisawa Junior & Senior High School
The six Japanese student participants and their teachers are from Keio Shonan Fujisawa High School, the newest of the affiliated Keio schools. It is a coeducational, 6-year secondary school which was opened in 1992 on the Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC) of Keio University. Graduates of the high school who are given a recommendation by the headmaster go on to Keio University. About one quarter of the 1200 students in the junior and senior high school are returnees – students who have returned to Japan after living abroad. Study at Keio SFC is geared “to develop the qualities of compassion, creativity, critical thinking, a refined sense of esthetics, and a desire to serve society.”
Akira Foundation (2013 and 2014)
The mission of the Akira Foundation is to be a “Social Bridge between Japan and the Global Village.” It is a non-religious and non-political charity that fosters a meaningful ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and problem solving. Its projects focus on 3 pillars: social/economic issues, experiential learning, and foreign students. The The Akira Foundation is the program’s primary partner in Japan, providing infrastructure, program development, and a bridge to local partners.
The World We Want Foundation (2013)
The World We Want Foundation promotes and supports young global citizens making positive social change in their communities and around the world. Through the process, young people acquire 21st century skills, project based learning, and civic engagement. The World We Want Foundation will offer micro-grants for the students’ social action projects in the U.S and Japan, and will provide an online funding platform for future projects.
Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute (2013)
The DC Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute (MYLI) is a local government initiative, founded in 1979, as a year-round program to train District of Columbia youth in the concepts of leadership and self-development. For this pilot year of the exchange, the DC student participants are all members of MYLI.