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Three Florida High School Students Will Fly to Japan in Commemoration of Two American Teachers

July 7, 2011
Miami, FL


In commemoration of two American teachers who died in the March 11 tsunami that struck northern Japan, the Japan Foundation  in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established the five-year JET Memorial Invitation Program for U.S. High School Students. The 2011 inaugural year will run from July 19-28.

The Japan Foundation received over 250 applications, out of which 32 participants were selected. Three of these successful applicants are from Florida: Anastasia Clegg from Palmetto High School, Brandon Dong from Western High School, and Alexa VanDemark from Lyman High School. The Consul General of Japan in Miami will host a send-off party for these students on July 14 before they leave for their orientation in San Francisco.

The purpose of the JET Memorial Invitation Program for U.S. High School Students is to encourage students studying the Japanese language to deepen their knowledge about Japan, in the hope that they will serve as a bridge between the United States and Japan in the future. Activities and events will take place in and around The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Institute in the city of Osaka. The participants will be far from the earthquake and tsunami affected areas in the Tohoku region.  If they request, a one-day trip to a Japanese high school in Tohoku will be arranged.

Students will also meet with current participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, more commonly known as the JET Program. The JET Program is an educational and cultural exchange initiative through the Japanese government for college graduates from around the world. Participants work in Japan as Assistant Language Teachers, Coordinators for International Relations, and Sports Exchange Advisors. The two teachers who perished in the tsunami, Ms. Taylor Anderson from Virginia and Mr. Montgomery Dickson from Alaska, were both Assistant Language Teachers with the JET Program.
All flights, accommodations, meals, study materials, and excursion costs will be covered. Following their participation with the JET Memorial Invitation Program for U.S. High School Students, participants’ essays documenting the experiences will appear in the Japan Foundation’s E-Newsletter, Breeze.


Media and photographers are invited to attend the farewell reception for the three Florida high school students at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan in Miami.

Japan Foundation, Los Angeles -  http://www.jflalc.org/index.html
Consulate General of Japan in Miami - http://www.miami.us.emb-japan.go.jp/
JET Program - http://www.jetprogramme.org/


Cultural and Educational Affairs Coordinator
Consulate General of Japan in Miami
80 SW 8th St., Suite 3200 Miami, FL 33130
(305) 530-9090 x145 | fax (305) 373-0019
culture@cgjmia.org | http://www.miami.us.emb-japan.go.jp