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JETAARM Upcoming Events

July Networking Happy Hour
Join us after our Monthly Meeting to connect with alumni at Gordon Biersch in Broomfield from 12pm to 2pm on Sunday, July 14th.
 
JETAARM Craft Day
Origami, bookmarks, buttons and more! Come join us on August 4th from 1pm - 4pm for a fun day of crafting. Entry is $5 per person (children 12yo and under are free). All materials are provided by JETAARM. This event is open to everyone, so feel free to bring a neighbor or friend!
JLPT Study Group
The next JLPT study group will be held on July 6th at Stella's Coffee in Denver.
Bring your books, flashcards, and kanji knowledge! 
>>RSVP HERE<<
JETAARM Book Club
For our fourth book club, we are reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.
Join us on July 21st for a fun book discussion and tasty Japanese treats!
>>RSVP HERE<<
Upcoming Community Events
JETAARM is always happy to support other organizations like Pacific Rim Cultural Exchange. This year, they have organized an International Youth Baseball Tournament, and have asked for our assistance during the Farewell Banquet.
During the Farewell Banquet, we will be helping to serve and will be able to indulge in the delicious luau they have planned! Even if you can't help out during the Farewell Banquet, we hope you'll stop by and enjoy the Festival on Saturday!
You can sign up to volunteer here:  
>> Volunteer Sign Up <<
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email Teri at president@jetaarockymountain.org
The annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival will take place this year on July 27th and 28th at Sloan's Lake in Denver, Colorado. Stop by and watch the races, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food vendors, enjoy a cultural performance, learn to make spring rolls, or challenge your friends to the Spicy Noodle Eating Contest! You can learn more on the event website here: http://www.cdbf.org/
Recap: Cherry Blossom Festival

What started as a rainy and cold Saturday ended up being a beautiful sunny Sunday at the Denver Cherry Blossom Festival 2019. Our brave band of volunteers promoted the JET Program and JETAARM even through the rather cold and un-Colorado-like rainy Saturday shift. We had a diverse mix of volunteers show up to support JETAARM: volunteers who are recently returned, volunteers who are now established back here in the Rocky Mountain region, volunteers from south, central, and west Colorado, volunteers from our board, and even fellow community members like the Takayama Sister Cities! One of our newly hired JETs, who will be leaving at the end of July, was also able to come! 

This was a new event for us this year, and successful in raising awareness of Japan and the JET Program, connecting with and supporting our fellow Japan-related community organizations, and getting a little bonding time over washi buttons, origami paper, and times spent at our schools in Japan. Many of our local community members stopped by and reveled at some of the truly wonderful experiences we as JET alums have had in our schools in Japan, from Sports Days to karaoke and everything in between. Hopefully, some seeds were planted and future JETs will be born in the years to come. 

Finally, if you were able to attend and snapped some pictures while you visited the festival, we would love for you to post them on our Facebook page and answer the Cherry Blossom Festival Challenge: what was your favorite CBF moment?

And last but not least, a big thank you to the Sakura Foundation and the Cherry Blossom Festival organizers! It was a fantastic opportunity to be part of one of Denver’s biggest celebrations of Japanese culture. Can’t wait for next year!

Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Pearce

Hi Taylor! Thanks for joining me today. Could you tell me a little about why you decided to go on the JET program?

It was kind of by chance. The JET program had a booth at my college’s career fair every year and growing up I had always wanted to visit Japan. I contribute it to all the games, tv shows, and movies I saw as a kid. I also love the food. Well after I graduated, I was really looking for a different experience and thought this would be a great opportunity to apply to. Although I studied engineering, I loved learning languages, linguistics and working with youth and thought it would be a good fit. And it was!

That's great how it worked out like that! Where was your placement on JET?

I was originally placed in Kanoya City in Kagoshima, but after working there for about two years I was asked to become the prefecture’s prefectural advisor where I then moved to the capital of my prefecture, Kagoshima City. 

What was your favorite part about where you were?

I loved the natural beauty of Kyushu and Kagoshima. We have the large towns and cities but just outside we have hundreds of natural hotsprings, mountains, and beaches. The centerpiece of our prefecture is also a very large active volcano, Sakurajima. It explodes about 800 times a year. Although the ash it produced caused problems, it was still a natural beauty to witness on daily basis.

Oh, wow! I can't imagine living so close to an active volcano.

It took some getting used to - especially coming from Colorado. I think the most surreal moment I had was biking home from work and watching it erupt in a large ashy plume and thinking to myself, “oh I should get home quickly before that ash cloud descends on the city” as if this is normal and what my life has become.

That's crazy! What was it like transitioning back to Colorado from Japan?

It was particularly hard coming back. I studied civil engineering in school, but had spent 4 years as a teacher and an administrator, so my career path was very uncertain. I spent 4 months looking for work applying to both engineering and non-engineering jobs till I landed a position as a Junior Civil Engineer at a Civil Engineering Consulting Firm. 

How do you feel that your time on JET helped you in your career?

I think JET gave me a strong foundation in a lot of soft skills such as public speaking, conflict management, and people management. Engineers are somewhat known for being less social, so having these skills I think will really benefit me as I move closer to project management. 

What is your favorite JETAARM event? 

Shinnenkai! New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays in general, but I like that we get a such a big group together with a ton of food. It’s also an event that tends to bring everyone out, even those that may not be as heavily involved in JETAARM anymore.

Anything else you want to tell our alumni community?

I think our JET Alumni group here is amazing. It really gave me the support and foundation I needed when I moved back to not only make new friends, but also network and build skills to find the job I have now.

Do you know a standout alumni in our community who deserves recognition? Let us know! We would like to celebrate the successes of our community with a shout out every month! Send nominations to: editor@jetaarockymountain.org
Have Something to Share?
Feel free to reach out to us by email or on Facebook! This space is open to all - if you have an idea, an essay, a review, an amazing photo, or anything else you want to put out there send it on to editor@jetaarockymountain.org!
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JETAA Rocky Mountain · 1550 Larimer St. Box # 464 · Denver, Co 80239 · USA

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