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LOS ANGELES — JACL’s National Youth/Student Council successfully held its 2016 fall retreat Sept. 9-11 in Los Angeles. Traveling from cities and campuses across the country, NY/SC members reunited in Little Tokyo to participate in team-building activities, leadership development exercises and strategic planning. For this retreat, the NY/SC chose to stay in a hallmark establishment of Little Tokyo: the historic Daimaru Hotel.

Beginning on Saturday, the NY/SC gathered in the JACL’s PSW office to reflect on a year of many successes and challenges overcome, including the NY/SC’s youth programming at the 2016 JACL Convention and participation in the Asian Pacific Islander American Vote and Asian American Journalists Association 2016 Presidential Forum.

Later, JACL Interim Associate Executive Director Stephanie Nitahara led the NY/SC in a mission and vision statement exercise to review and amend the NY/SC’s vision for both JACL and the world. Building off of this activity, the NY/SC spent the rest of the retreat planning for broad goals the group hopes to accomplish in the next biennium. These goals include increased district-level youth engagement, enhanced NY/SC summits and a robust communications plan to engage JACL youth members throughout the country.

The NY/SC also had the privilege of dining with Ken and Nicole Inouye of the SELANOCO chapter on Saturday evening. Always an inspiration, Ken Inouye shared his stories of working with various minority communities from his perspective as a Japanese American and encouraged the NY/SC to continue leading the JACL forward.

Finally, the NY/SC would like to recognize and thank Southwest Airlines and State Farm for their continued support for the NY/SC and its programs. Without the support of Southwest and State Farm, the NY/SC would not be able to come together as a team to discuss and plan Youth Leadership Summits addressing the many challenges and opportunities surrounding Asian American Pacific Islander youth as well as the JACL. The NY/SC truly appreciates Southwest Airlines and State Farm for enabling the NY/SC to develop young leaders and make change in the community.

— JACL National Staff