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Hawaii Federation of Junior YBAs

Winter Serendipity hawaii I honolulu I maui I oahu I kauai


Front Cover


Table of Contents




President’s Message


Letter from the Editor


United Reports


2019 Graduate Reports


United Contact Information


Federation Contacts

ANNOUNCEMENTS If you haven’t joined our Discord chat please do! YESS Camp 37: - Friday, April 10, 2020 9am to Sunday, April 12, 2020 // 3pm - Camp Palehua - Cost: $45 Giseikai Meeting: February 6-8 Convention: June 26-28 on MAUI!!



Ethan Mayer Federation President

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great winter break and had time to relax. Over break I personally went to Japan and went to many amazing places such as Nishi Hongwanji, Osaka Castle, Arashiyama in Kyoto and TeamLABS in Tokyo. I totally spent too much money, but I had a good time. Now that we’re all back in school, it's important to remember to stay focused and do our best. We all have goals and aspirations that we all want to achieve. Sometimes school does get hard, but take everything day by day and strive to be better than yesterday. I’m proud to be a part of an organization such as ours




and I’ll always be excited to work with you all. Let’s make 2020 one of our best years yet. In Gassho, Ethan Sakai Mayer


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Hey Guys!! I hope you all had a good finals week and holidays, getting back into the routine of going to school. I had a great time with my brothers home; the house was sure a lot louder with them back. Let’s all start this year off strong with a positive attitude, The only thing that is ever holding you back is your mind. Break down all the walls that are blocking you from reaching your goals and putting doubt in your head and you will be well on your way. Never let anyone else decide how you are going to live your life, for you only have one shot at it. I know it’s all cliche to hear it all but it’s the truth. Sometimes in life we all have to take a break, a few steps back, to move forward. When you get back on your feet though, face the challenges head on, with confidence. You have to be the one to give yourself the fair chance to reach your greatest dreams. We can all work to build each other and ourselves up this year! Love you all <3 In Gassho, Kana Suzuki


United Reports

United of Oahu President: Shoshi Hashimoto Wassup Everyone!! The United of Oahu made centerpiece crafts for Mililani Plaza as a service project for HBY month. We also participate in Karaoke night at Pearl-city Hongwanji. Lastly we did a membership drive at Aiea Hongwanji. We watched the movie Princess Mononoke. We are planning on doing a fundraiser for HBY month at Panda Express. I hope we can do more services for the HBY Month theme.

United of Honolulu President: Alexandrianna Harman Happy New Year Everyone, For the past couple of months, we have been busy with fundraising and community service. We helped with childcare at the Aiea Hongwanji Nembutsu Seminar on November 2. After the seminar, we went to Aiea Bowl and then had a sleepover at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. The next day November 3 we got up early to prepare breakfast for the Eitaikyo service. We served regular/banana/chocolate pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, rice, and miso soup. Also, we did the Matson Beach Cleanup Fundraiser at Sandy beach where we cleaned and picked up trash and after enjoyed a potluck.


United of Maui President: Donavan Ikeuchi Since the last fed meeting, the Maui United has helped at the 120th Anniversary held at Wailuku Hongwanji mission in October. With that, we held our annual cookie bake fundraiser along with it being a sleepover and was able to ďŹ nalize the theme for this upcoming convention. With the convention planning we working hard to get done and ready for, we are also in progress on making our own Maui United T-shirts. Lastly, we can't wait to see ya'll at this upcoming meeting.

United of Hawaii President: Manami Alspach Our United has been busy since Fall Fed. We did a Feed the Hungry and held a New Years service and fundraised $500 to Honaunau Elementary School to replace tools for the staff after they were stolen. We also helped out Honohina Hongwanji with their annual temple clean up. Both of our units participated in their hongwanjiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual mochi-tsuki along with our Jr. YBA alumni who came home for the holidays. Our members helped carry/cook rice, pound mochi, make mochi, package mochi, and distribute the mochi to customers. We are delighted to host the WInter Fed meting in Kona and want to give a big thank you to all those who could attend. In Gassho, Manami Alspach (United of Hawaii President)


United of Kauai President: Kelli Okayama Hello from Kauai! United of Kauai has been busy at work. In November, juniors assisted with the Kapaa Hongwanji Food Sale and the Kauai United BWA Lonesome Grave at the Veteran’s Cemetery. At the Lonesome Grave Project, juniors decorated the graves with flowers and greens for the annual Veteran’s Day Service the following day. Juniors also volunteered at the Kapaa Interfaith Thanksgiving Luncheon where we helped set up, decorate, and serve tables to guests. In December, juniors also volunteered at various booths at the Mahelona Hospital Tree Lighting. We are excited and look forward to many upcoming activities. Happy New Year from United Kauai! In gassho, Kelli Okayama


2019 Graduates

How is life going and what was your first semester like?

KENJI SUZUKI Portland has been incredible this last semester. The transition to college life has been smooth, and I have been able to enjoy the freedom and independence. The cold and the rain is definitely something that I had to get used to, and I constantly miss the sunny weather back home. As a Bio major, my academics have stayed as a huge priority, and take up a good portion of my schedule. Even so, I have taken full advantage of being away, taking trips into the city, experiencing the seasons, and meeting a lot of new people. Overall, it’s been a good first semester. Can’t wait to see y’all in the summer.

CHLOE OSHIRO Hello I'm Chloé. Last year, I was the President of Oahu United, but now I'm in college. I attend Oregon State University in Corvallis and I am studying Horticulture. I really enjoy the great agriculture and science programs here. Besides studying, I joined the Horticulture club, Hawaii club, and Gymnastics club. I also get to experience new things in Oregon like snowboarding. Despite the rain, I appreciate the weather here and seeing the leaves change color and the snow fall. Thank you, Chloe Oshiro


JENNA TAKARA hey everyone!! happy new years & cheers to a new decade!! a small update: I finished my first semester at UNLV, and declared my Major in Biology, with a Minor in Wildlife Conservation. Being away from home has really allowed me to witness many different outlooks in my career and I can’t wait to see what the new year of 2020 brings me. As my stay in Las Vegas I got to meet new people from different countries and learn their unique ways. There were some challenges along the way, but I was able to manage and surround myself with people who made me not miss home as much. I have made many new friends within my dorm life, and within the Hawaii Ewalu Club. This club is created for students, that are from different islands and or for those who want to know more about our Hawaiian culture. I miss everyone so dearly, and I can’t wait to see your faces soon! Always, mama jen


KELLI OKAYAMA College has been crazy to say the least, but the experiences I have had with the friends I have meet made all the difference. So far I have finished my first official nursing class at University of Portland and took my last math class ever for the rest of my academic experiment here on the Bluff. College classes were nerve wracking the first few days, but our professors are the sweetest and incredibly helpful. Especially, since all professors hold office hours for you to have the chance of a one on one discussion of content or conversation with them. I found my classes continuously engaging and fun for the most part. I learned that with all ups came downs. Like dead week before finals or getting a lower score on something that you expected would receive a high grade. With all of these new experiences came the ability to learn from my mistakes, just as I learned to make dead week easier I make study guides after we complete every section in my different classes. So far... college has been amazing and the best I can describe it is like a rollercoaster. It’s exciting, scary, thrilling, and entertaining.


KOJI SUZUKI Hey guys it’s Koji! I’m currently finished my first semester at Temple University Japan! So far it’s been a blast, and I have made a lot of new memories. I even got to visit Tsukiji Hongwanji in my spare time, which was an awesome experience. International school allows me to come into contact with many different cultures, making me have a broader mindset about the world. Viewing different perspectives on one topic shows how people from different cultures learn and value things in different ways, which has been a great learning experience for me. I recommend you all to study abroad once in your life! I hope Jr. YBA continues to work hard and make new memories. Hope to see you all soon! In Gassho, Koji Suzuki


ETHAN MAYER Hi everyone, I just started my second semester at Hawaii Community College and college surely is an experience. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s hard, but the amount of work does pile up if you don’t stay on top of it, which can be overwhelming. I do admit that I dropped the ball towards the end of last semester and didn’t do the best, which I learned from my mistakes and I’m working on improving myself. Since I didn’t do the best, that does mean I will be staying at Hawaii Community College for a semester longer than I anticipated, but I just see this as a trial and error situation. I am still looking for a University to transfer to, but I am still looking for my future home. I’ll do my best to stay motivated these next two semesters and hopefully raise my GPA enough to transfer to wherever I decide to go. In Gassho, Ethan Sakai Mayer



Manami Alspach Michelle Soga

United of Honolulu

Alex Harman Joy Nishida

United of Maui

Donovan Ikeuchi Wayde Toyama

United of Oahu

Shoshi Hashimoto Gay Tanaka

United of Kauai

Taryn R Brandi Yamamoto


CONTACT INFORMATION FEDERATION OFFICERS Federation President Ethan Mayer Vice President Kana Suzuki

Treasurer Shoshi Hashimoto


Secretary Alex Harman

Secretary Kokoro Yamazaki



ADVISORS Federation

Fed Co-Advisor


Joy Nishida

Alisa Kondo

Kerrie Wong





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Winter Serendipity 2020  

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Winter Serendipity 2020  

Jr. YBA Winter Serendipity 2020