I met many people who carefully listened to my story, approved and showed sympathy to it, and supported me and praised my actions... I would like more people to know the experience I had through the program. This experience is the primary motivation for me to conceive my own project. - Y-PLAN Japan Student
The TOMODACHI SoftBank Leadership Program is a journey to explore the source of students' identity that is routed to the place they live, study, and grow. This 3-week summer experience at the University of California, Berkeley lays groundwork for the future and serves as a powerful catalyst for Tohoku youth participants to become agents of social change. The program provides students a safe place to open up past memories, current challenges, and everyday concerns where nobody denies their ideas or backgrounds.
As a true Community of Practice, everyone - youth and adults alike - are learners and contributors of their own unique and important expertise. As a program centerpiece, the Y-PLAN Leadership Studio teaches community development and social enterprise skills by actively engaging in the development of another community – one separated by geography but aligned in the need for social and economic development and led most importantly by young people.
My students’ perspectives and motivations changed when we visited RYSE. Seeing an entire facility that was both started and still operated by youth, inspired them in a way that we could not in a classroom. They were so inspired, that one of my students has already started a similar youth organization with several of her peers in Fukushima. It will be called ACE (Action, Chance, Evolution). - Y-PLAN Japan Instructor
I had first thought the current situation regarding the elderly in my community was a community challenge, but decided to take it as a community asset. Elderly people are full of wisdom and knowledge. I thought the wisdom of elderly people can provide the next generations with richer and more profound knowledge about their community. / Y-PLAN Japan Student