Internships: Developing and Inspiring Future Leaders

In 2005, while a college student, I participated in the Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) program. For two months during the summer, I interned at the Japanese American Services of the East Bay, now J-Sei, in Berkeley, CA. In addition to working on projects, I also accompanied then-Executive Director Laura Takeuchi to meetings with other aging services organizations throughout the Bay Area. It was a really eye-opening experience, going from being a participant in Japanese American community organizations to learning how they are run. Once a week, we also visited other community organizations and met with their leadership, both in the Bay Area and Southern California.


Keiro’s 2016 NCI intern, Channing Lou with Heather

Four years ago, Keiro hosted its first NCI intern and continues to host one each summer. It’s wonderful to see this program continuing to expand the younger generation’s experiences in the community. I enjoy meeting the interns each year as well, even though they often say “wow, you participated a long time ago.” (It just shows the longevity and continued value of NCI).

In addition to NCI, Keiro hosts several other interns from different programs each year. I got my start at Keiro as a graduate student intern five years ago and worked on several interesting projects, including a community needs assessment, policies/procedures and licensing issues for the former retirement home, and community health education programs. Keiro’s internship program provides valuable work experience for those interested in health care and aging services as well as community non-profits.

To learn more about the Nikkei Community Internship, visit this link.

Get involved with Keiro and our internships by clicking this link.

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2016 Keiro interns Jamie Yabuno (far left) and Jeremy Tuggy (center) working with Keiro staff at Genki Conference: Caregiver’s Edition on June 11th in Pasadena

As part of our mission to enhance the quality of senior life in Our Community, Keiro helps to develop students and young adults who show promise in furthering our mission through their professional and personal lives. Since 2002, Keiro has supported over 30 interns by providing a meaningful work experience and a deeper understanding of the Japanese American community.

Keiro is expanding our reach from a focus on long term health care facilities to broadly engaging and supporting thousands of Japanese American and Japanese older adults throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties. Keiro provides services to older adults and caregivers, along with programs for residents of Keiro’s former facilities—helping older adults in Our Community to age the way they choose.


About the Author:

Heather HaradaIMG_6168 is the Program Coordinator, Research with Keiro. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. In her spare time, Heather enjoys cooking, hiking, and travelling.

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