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W&L’s Kitanna Hiromasa Awarded Prestigious JET Program Award Hiromasa says her time at Washington and Lee and various volunteer opportunities she has participated in have prepared her for this next step in her educational journey.

Kitanna W&L’s Kitanna Hiromasa Awarded Prestigious JET Program AwardKitanna Hiromasa ’19

Kitanna Hiromasa ’19, a senior at Washington and Lee University, has won a Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program award and will spend the coming year in Japan, as an assistant language teacher in a private or public school. Hiromasa is majoring in economics and she is minoring in creative writing. She will leave for Japan in August 2019.

“The program is a minimum of one year, but I can choose to stay for one to two additional years,” said Hiromasa. “I’ll likely be staying at least two years total, maybe more! This has been my dream job since my first year at W&L. I’m deeply honored to be awarded this opportunity, and I see it as a chance to grow, to expand my worldview and immerse myself in a different culture and place. I’m excited to act as a cultural ambassador of sorts, to represent my country and background as well as learn from my future students.”

Hiromasa says her time at Washington and Lee and various volunteer opportunities she has participated in have prepared her for this next step in her educational journey.

“I volunteered with Languages for Rockbridge teaching Japanese this past year, and it has helped me understand lesson planning, taught me the best ways to engage with young students and given me a love for teaching,” said Hiromasa. “The first few years at W&L, I consistently went to the LCOOY (Lexington Youth Office) with Campus Kitchen, where I interacted and worked with kids in a completely different setting. My time in the Japanese Department shaped my decision to apply for JET. I even had the opportunity to travel to Japan for the first time with Professor Ikeda’s, W&L associate professor of Japanese, Spring Term course.”

After graduation, Hiromasa will work as a camp counselor for Colorado Girls State, a week-long camp for teenage girls that revolves around government and politics. This will be her sixth year as a counselor.