Let's face it, the Japanese Sister City Commission (JSCC) over the years has really enjoyed hosting Japanese students; and American students have always been shown a very good time in Japan, in our beloved city: Higashimurayama. The Student Exchange will soon be celebrating its 30th Anniversary; which means that there are a lot of U.S. and Japanese Alumni who have participated in the program. However, until just recently, it has been difficult to share this unique cultural experience with former Exchange Students.
To make this easier and encourage alumni to share in their experiences as a group, a Facebook group for Alumni has been started. Already, the response from this growing Alumni Facebook group has been fantastic and the need to have an Alumni Association is evident; for the benefit of all associated with the Exchange Program.
To lay the foundation for this initiative, Sandy Peoples has asked the Commission to accept Aaron Duff, 2000 Exchange Program, to take on the job as president of the Japanese Sister City Alumni Association. Several other Alumni have already volunteered to serve as officers. If you are interested, please leave a message on our Facebook page.
Aaron feels it is an honor to have the opportunity to serve both the City of Independence and the City of Higashimurayama in such a capacity. We say both cities because Japanese Alumni, as well as American Alumni (no matter where you are), can communicate, share photos and enjoy the Alumni Facebook group.
You were always alumni of the program but now founding such an association is vital to both the JSCC and the Alumni Association. If we wait much longer it may be very difficult to get everyone back together or to recognize what a unique group the Alumni are. A clear direction and mission will be established for the Association's longevity and the group is encouraged to use it's creativity in developing a lasting framework.
Aaron feels that our exchange often begins with the curiosity of friendship and ends with the surety of a new family. His goal is for the Japanese Sister City Alumni Association is to extend this hospitality in a unique way to those individuals-both American and Japanese-who are now alumni or will become alumni of this cultural exchange.
It is important to us that each of you feels involved and valued within this association. Our goal is to draw upon the great wealth that the diversity of the Alumni offers the association, ensuring that Alumni goals are met and that our mission is sustained. On behalf of the entire Japanese Sister City Alumni Association, "Welcome!" from Aaron, fellow alumni and the JSCC.