JETAA USA Receives Message of Thanks from Hope for Tomorrow

JETAA USA donated part of their Earthquake Relief Fund to the Japanese NPO, Hope for Tomorrow. The main focus of Hope for Tomorrow is to provide financial support for the incurred travel costs associated with university entrance examinations for high school students.

The JETAA USA grant allowed Hope for Tomorrow to open a program in Rikuzentakata. Hope for Tomorrow also provides English language tutoring to students as a thoughtful acknowledgment to the town’s beloved JET ALT, Monty Dickson, whose life was lost in the tsunami of 3.11.

JETAA USA received a letter of thanks (below) for our financial support, which made this effort a possibility for the students of Rikuzentakata. This project would not have been possible without the unification of our JETAA USA community and the hard work of all chapters to raise the funds. I am proud to be a part of this community and happy to be able to give back to the country we all call our second home. I hope you are too!

Dear JETAA Members,

I want to express my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your fellow JET participants in the recent disaster. I heard from media reports that Taylor Anderson and Montgomery Dickson were adored by their students, deeply rooted in their local communities, and loved like family members by those in their communities. To think that these two people came to Japan with such high hopes and then to have this tragedy befall them is a tragedy itself. The impressive efforts of the JETAA community to provide aid to the people of the communities that they loved both surprises me and prompts me to offer thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you very much for your generous contribution to Hope for Tomorrow. In order to ensure that they are not robbed of the chance to get an education, Hope for Tomorrow has set out to provide assistance to high school students so that they can take their university entrance exams. We are supporting high schools in areas that sustained massive damage, including Ofunato and Takata High Schools in Iwate, Kesennuma and Ishinomaki High Schools in Miyagi, and Haramachi High School in Fukushima. The principals of all of these schools told us that they are deeply grateful for this assistance. In particular, Takata High School in Rikuzentakata has become unusable due to the damage from the tsunami, and they are holding classes in a temporary building. Over 70% of the students at that high school lost family members or homes in the disaster, and JETAA USA’s generous grant is allowing them to move forward with their futures.

In thinking about what would be most important for the children’s futures, and taking into consideration Taylor and Monty’s passion for their students, we have also decided to support English education in these schools. Through our program, Yale University students, Japanese who studied overseas and English teachers are volunteering their time to teach English to students in the disaster zone. We are also in the process of recruiting students from these schools to travel to the United States to take part in a homestay program offered by a US high school. We feel so much gratitude towards the outpouring of support from America.

I want to thank JETAA USA for the heartfelt support which has allowed us to open this program here. We promise to do our best to convey the love from each one of you to each of the students. And we pray from the bottom of our hearts for your good health and good spirits.

Hitoshi Tanaka
Hope for Tomorrow

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