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Hawaii Federation of Junior YBAs

Serendipity SUMMER EDITION JUNE/JULY 2019 hawaii I honolulu I maui I oahu I kauai


Front Cover


Table of Contents


Important Dates


President’s Message


Letter from the Editor


United Reports


Events & Service Projects


United Contact Information


Federation Contacts



YBICSE JAPANESE EXCHANGE from July 15-27, 2019

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL for public school)



contact me: e/alysmokamura29@gmail.com ig / @ a l y s . o a k s sc / @ a l y s s a m i s a k i


Koji Suzuki Federation President

HEY GUYS! Whew it’s sure been a while. It feels weird knowing that this is going to be my last message to you all. Throughout this year, with the honor of serving you all as the Jr. YBA Federation president, I have learned so many valuable lessons that will stick with me throughout my life. In my opinion, the most important of these lessons is the importance of communication and that confidence is indeed sexy x). As you all might remember, at the start of the year I stayed three goals or mine for the Jr. YBA Federation: 1.



Utilize technology in order to run meetings more efficiently, organize documents in a professional manner, and reinforce our connection with current juniors. Increase participation in federation activities by encouraging members from every island to come out of their comfort zone and meet other fellow juniors. Further increase membership in every united by reaching out to potential members through social media and sparking interest in today’s youth.



Looking at these three goals, I admit there is still a lot of room for improvement, but I feel we approached each goal very well this year. First off, with Alyssa’s wonderful serendipities, we were able to make meetings run faster by allocating more time towards the meeting and saving time later to review the wonderful serendipities. Another benefit that these digital copies had was that they allowed us to instantly share our serendipities over the web, spreading our news across the Buddhist community. Next, with Kauai United back in the game, we have had increased participation in all Jr. YBA activities. A close partner of Jr. YBA, YESS camp had a huge turnout this year, beating its attendance record of the past decade. Lastly, with our current updates on Instagram (all credit to Alyssa for running the ig), we have been able to reach out and interact with all our members across the islands. Updated posts keep everyone informed of current activities and makes sure everyone stays posted on any important news. I hope to have made a lasting impact with you all (BBB forever) and please keep in touch with me. In one way or another, I will always stay connected to Jr. YBA (my second Ohana). Love you all… and again, CONFIDENCE IS SEXY!!!

In Gassho,

Koji Suzuki 2018-2019 Federation President

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR HELLO SUMMER!! AND HELLO FRIENDS! Long time no see! Summer… WOW, time really does fly by. I remember last summer I didn’t even know I wanted to run for a Federation Office! But here I am, writing my fourth and final Serendipity Newsletter to you all. Over the course of this year, I can say with confidence that our Federation has made leaps and bounds towards becoming a well oiled organization, growing to utilize new forms of communication and building new relationships (like with our new friends from the United of Kauai!) With all of us coming from different islands, it is often a challenge to spread the message across the ocean for everyone to hear. However, technology has become the key to good communication. Yes, phones are addictive and video games make you “brainwashed,” but in this day and age, it is Instagram and texting that gets reminders out the fastest! As we look forward, I hope we all continue to communicate effectively and even try out new, creative ideas (maybe YouTube?) to continue sharing our experiences! Again, thank you for giving me the honor of serving as Federation Vice President this term. Each one of you has made an impact on this organization & our community, and I cannot wait to hear about what the future holds! In Gassho, Alyssa Okamura, Federation VP

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United of Hawaii President: Dillon Tsuchiya The United of Hawaii has had a steady amount of activity since the Spring Federation Meeting, Most of our time has been going into obon concession preparations! Besides that, both the Hilo and Kona Unit held officer elections, and together held United elections as well. Because it is the end of the year, both Kona and Hilo also celebrated the graduates with an Honor the Graduates sunday service. And lastly, Kona sang at the Keaehou Bon Dance! It’s been a great term, congrats to all, and most of all, happy obon season!!! :) In Gassho,

United of Honolulu President: Alexandrianna Harman Hope everyone is having a good summer so far! The United of Honolulu has been looking forward to the convention. We did something different and we organized our next meeting into a pre-convention which was from May 26-27. Which we had a meeting this is when we went over all of our fundraisers that are coming up in the summer. Also, we elected our new United of Honolulu officers for the 2019-2020 year. After the meeting, we went to the Ice Palace to cool off and ate at Bravo’s which was a really good meal. Hongwanji Mission School was gracious enough to let us borrow their facilities so we could have a sleepover there. The next day we went to Kailua to participate in a community service project at Ulupo Heiau which we had the opportunity to connect more with our land. In Gassho,

United of Maui President: Donavan Ikeuchi

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Since the last fed. meeting we weren't able to do too much besides plan upcoming activities that will help our group gain more members and help out at Wailuku Hongwanji Mission with part of the service for their YBA Sunday. With the time it is taking for us to plan this activity we are still going to try our best to help out the community and hongwanjis with any help we are able to provide for them. We hope your guys summer has been good so far and we can't wait to see ya'll at convention.

United of Kauai President: Kelli Okayama We’re almost a month into summer and United of Kauai soon makes one official year of being active. Our United has been looking forward to our first convention since we first started back up. This convention may be one of the first and lasts for many of us Juniors, as many are seniors who have graduated in May. Nonetheless, United of Kauai officially inducted new members; Kaleigh Ramil, Taryn Ramil, and Madison Doo of Kapaa Hongwanji as well as a few community service projects. Some projects being: beach clean up at Salt Pond Beach after an islandwide beach Sunday Service and Dharma Discussion class, serving saimin and food at the Mahelona Care Home Obon Dance, and working two nights at the fish pond booth at West Kauai Hongwanji Mission Temple’s Obon Dance in Hanapepe. In addition to our new members and community service efforts, three of our Juniors from United of Kauai achieved a great feat. We congratulate and recognize Iris Murakami, April Murakami, and Cherish Kuloloia for competing in the Japanese American Society of Hawaii’s Wizards Competition in Honolulu. The three Juniors took first place in the Public School Division and were awarded a trip to Japan in June 2019. We are very proud of their achievements and wish all the best to all graduates of Jr. YBA in their future endeavors. As three of our United’s Juniors are currently in Japan, the rest of our members are super excited for all that is to come at the 62nd Convention!

United of Oahu President: Chloe Oshiro Hello everyone! The United of Oahu has put tremendous time and effort planning a great convention for this year. Towards the end of May our juniors participated in the annual Graveyard Cleanup with Wahiawa Hongwanji. Besides that we also had our Senior Celebration at Aunty Gay’s Beach House. We celebrated our United’s seven graduates with a day at the beach and cake. After Convention, we plan to participate in the Buddha Bowling Bash hosted by Aiea Hongwanji and volunteer at Mililani Bon Dance. Additionally, six of our Junior’s will be participating in this year YBICSE Program to Japan. Thank you!

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Events & Service SPRING RECAP

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HAWAII (Spring Recap) PC: Alyssa Okamura

Honor the Grads Service

To celebrate the graduates, we held a Honor the Grads Service! This took place at both Hilo and Kona temples. The graduates from Hilo were Cougar, Alyssa, Cole, Ethan, and Scott, and from Kona we had Mako! -Ethan Mayer

HONOLULU (Spring Recap) PC: Joy Nishida

Ulupo Heiau Area Restoration

The United of Honolulu partnered up with the DOE personnel and Kailua Key Club to restore the Ulupo Heiau area. This included loi work and clearing invasive plants. It was a great project put on by the DOE Kailua-Kalaheo Complex, and the members both learned a lot and had lots of fun! -Alex Harman

KAUAI (Spring Recap) PC: Kelli Okayama

Mahelona Care Home Obon

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MAUI (Spring Recap) PC: Donavan Ikeuchi

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Upcoming Activities

United of Maui has been getting together throughout the months to start planning and preparing for upcoming projects, as the term ends and a new Junior YBA year begins! Thank you to everyone who came to the Spring Federation Meeting, we hope you had fun! -Donavan Ikeuchi

OAHU (Spring Recap) PC: Chloe Oshiro

Senior Celebration

The United of Oahu celebrated our seven seniors at Aunty Gay’s Beach House with a day in the water and lots of food! - Chloe Oshiro

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Attending Temple University in Japan to study International Business

Attending University of Las Vegas to study athletic training/ therapy

Attending Hawaii Community College & plans to transfer to University




Attending University of Hawaii at Hilo to study Exploratory Health Sciences

Attending the University of Portland in Portland Oregon

Attending University of Portland to study Nursing



Attending Creighton University in Nebraska to study Business Administration & Marketing

Attending the University of Oregon in Corvallis to study horticulture

CONNECTED Let’s keep in touch.

@hawaiifedjryba 1M

hawaiifedjryba @gmail.com

DM us pictures from your projects and events to be featured on the Federation Instagram!

CONTACT INFORMATION United Presidents & Advisors


DILLON TSUCHIYA dillon@dillontsuchiya.com MICHELLE SOGA soga.michelle@gmail.com

ALEXANDRIANNA HARMAN alexandrianna.harman@gmail.com JOY NISHIDA jwnishida@gmail.com


KELLI OKAYAMA keerrrrri17@gmail.com BRANDI brandiay@hawaii.edu

DONAVAN IKEUCHI donavanikeuchi@gmail.com WAYDE TOYAMA wayde.toyama@gmail.com

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CHLOE OSHIRO copinkhippo@gmail.com GAY TANAKA gaytanaka@gmail.com



Koji Suzuki



Alyssa Okamura



Kwnji Suzuki kenjisuzuki3511@gmail.com Alexandrianna Harman alexandrianna.harman@gmail,com FEDERATION TREASURER

Shoshi Hashimoto



Joy Nishida jwnishida@gmail.com Alisa Kondo chikopups@gmail.com HEADQUARTERS

Kerrie Wong


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Thanks for Reading!

A man asked Lord Buddha, “I want happiness.” Lord Buddha said, first remove “I,” that’s ego. Then remove “want,” that’s desire. Now you are only left with happiness.

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