Florida JETAA
24May/17Off

Volunteers Wanted! JETAA FL 2017 Tampa Natsumatsuri

Posted by admin

Sat. June 24 | 5-10 PM | Christ the King Church,  821 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa

Our chapter's flagship event, the Tampa Natsumatsuri, is only one month away! Over the last 12 years, this community organized festival coordinated by JETAA FL has continued to grow in size. Last year, we had an estimated 800 guests visit!

Since this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the JET Program, we want to make it even better -- but we need help from our JET Alumni!

Interested volunteers contact Tom Gregorich, Festival Director: Tampanatsumatsuri@gmail.com

Why is this important?

A core goal of the JET Program is for former participants to continue sharing  their love and knowledge of Japan with people around the world. As a Chapter, we not only strive to create a home for JET alumni, but also provide opportunities for the greater community to engage with Japanese culture.

Tampa Natsumatsuri, under the leadership of alumni John McGee and now Tom Gregorich, has been doing this for the past 12 years. The festival aims to create the real atmosphere of a Japanese summer festival with treats, crafts, dances, martial arts performances, cosplay, and traditional festival games. Tickets for the games are sold at an extremely low price, and admission is always FREE!

10% of festival proceeds go to a Japan-related charity, such as relief and reconstruction for the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011) and the Kumamoto Earthquake (2016). 5% goes to JETAA FL to help with our basic operations, and the rest goes to funding the festival

We'd prefer people to help with full slots, but if you can only dedicate a certain amount of time, we will find a way to work around it! Read on to see how you can help.

Volunteer Slots

Set Up

We're looking for people to help with set up from 3 PM - 5 PM! 

Coffee Jelly

We need someone to make, bring, and sell Coffee Jelly! This is something that JETAA-FL has sold at Natsumatsuri for the last few years. It's really easy to make, and we can give you the recipe, but we're really short-handed this year. Of course, you will be compensated for the cost of materials! 5-9PM (or until it sells out). 

Games

We need volunteers to run game tables during the festival (5 to 9pm). You don't need to bring anything but your enthusiasm! We have all the materials, and can teach you the games on site.

Game examples:

  • wanage 輪投げ
  • shodo 書道
  • omikuji おみくじ
  • kingyo sukui 金魚釣り堀
  • otedaruma お手玉
  • yoyo sukui ヨーヨーつり
  • kids' omocha sukui おもちゃ釣りゲーム
  • origami 折り紙
  • yukata try-on 浴衣
  • shuriken showdown 手裏剣ショウダウン
  • hanetsuki (badminton) 羽根突き
  • daruma otoshi ダルマ落とし
  • ohajiki おはじき
  • taketonbo 竹とんぼ

よろしくおねがいします!

1May/16Off

2016 Election Results

Posted by admin

Voting results are in! Help us welcome our new (and old) FL-JETAA Officers!
President: Bahia Simons-Lane
Treasurer: Sean Beckwith
Secretary: Kyle Litow
Information Officer: Justice Pitts

Also, a big welcome to our new Gainesville Region Rep, Katie Brunell!

If you're interested in joining our efforts, there are two open positions for Region Reps (Tallahassee & Treasure Coast). If you're interested in taking one on, please contact our Secretary: Secretary@florigajetaa.org.

13Apr/16Off

Voting Open: 2016 Board Elections

Posted by admin

Voting for the 2016 Florida JETAA board elections is now open through April 26th at 11:55 pm. Any votes received after this date will not be counted.

Read candidate Bios here.

Click here to cast your vote!

The positions up for election this term are President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Information Officer. All terms are 2-year terms. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

VOTING ELIGIBILITY
JET Program alumni who are registered members of Florida JETAA are eligible to vote. Friends of JET are not eligible to cast a vote.

Your vote will be kept confidential. Only the current Florida JETAA webmaster, Lauren Sorondo, who is handling the elections this year will see your vote. We ask for personal information to verify that you are a JET alumni.

21Mar/16Off

Florida JETAA Elections 2016

Posted by President

It's time for Florida JETAA elections! While the 2016 FL-JETAA elections will not be quite as much of a spectacle as the Washington ones, they are still pretty important! If you are interesting in working more closely with FL-JETAA and helping our community grow, please consider running for a position.

NOTE: *You MUST be a JET Alumnus to nominate and/or vote in these elections* Sorry, friends of JET!

Elections will be held during the first weeks of April, and a later email this month will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline.

Nominating Yourself
If you'd like to run for a position, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested in by emailing our Webmaster, Lauren, at webmaster@floridajetaa.org. Send a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself, any related experience, and why you'd be a good candidate. *Bios are due by March 18, 2016*.

Nominating Others
Hey, what about that guy? You know, the one you think would be perfect for one of these positions? You can nominate them by emailing their name and nominating position to Lauren at webmaster@floridajetaa.org. *Nominations of others must be received by March 14, 2016*, to allow us time to contact the nominee. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

Open Positions
Here are the openings and a description of the opening positions:

President:
The President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, act as a tie breaker in the event that the Board is unable to reach a majority decision, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The President will also work with the Secretary and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. This position carries a 2-year term.

It's time for Florida JETAA elections! While the 2016 FL-JETAA elections will not be quite as much of a spectacle as the Washington ones, they are still pretty important! If you are interesting in working more closely with FL-JETAA and helping our community grow, please consider running for a position. Elections will be held during the first weeks of April, and a later email this month will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline.

Nominating Yourself
If you'd like to run for a position, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested in by emailing our outgoing Webmaster, Lauren, at webmaster@floridajetaa.org. Send a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself, any related experience, and why you'd be a good candidate. Bios are due by March 18, 2016.

Nominating Others
Hey, what about that guy? You know, the one you think would be perfect for one of these positions? You can nominate them by emailing their name and nominating position to Lauren at webmaster@floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received by March 14, 2016, to allow us time to contact the nominee. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

Open Positions
Here are the openings and a description of the opening positions:

President:
The President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, act as a tie breaker in the event that the Board is unable to reach a majority decision, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The President will also work with the Secretary and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. This position carries a 2-year term.

Regional Representatives

There are also openings for regional representatives in Gainesville, Treasure Coast, and Tallahassee. These positions are appointed by the elected officers. Regional representatives act as a point of contact for Florida JETAA and the JET Coordinator at the consulate regarding events and recruiting in your area. Reps are encouraged to plan one event a year if there is interest in their area. Please contact Bahia at president@floridajetaa.org or Lauren at webmaster@floridajetaa.org if you're interested in being a representative for these regions.

18Mar/16Off

2016 Elections – Nominations Open

Posted by President

NOMINATION PERIOD EXTENDED!

It's time for Florida JETAA elections! While the 2016 FL-JETAA elections will not be quite as much of a spectacle as the Washington ones, they are still pretty important!   If you are interesting in working more closely with FL-JETAA and helping our community grow, please consider running for a position.  Elections will be held during the first weeks of April, and a later email this month will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline.

You must be a JET alumni to vote, nominate, and run in our elections.

Nominating Yourself
If you'd like to run for a position, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested in by emailing our outgoing Webmaster, Lauren, at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org. Send a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself, any related experience, and why you'd be a good candidate. Bios are due by March 30, 2016.

Nominating Others
Hey, what about that guy? You know, the one you think would be perfect for one of these positions? You can nominate them by emailing their name and nominating position to Lauren at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received byMarch 24, 2016, to allow us time to contact the nominee. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

Open Positions
Here are the openings and a description of the opening positions:

President:

The President shall attend the JETAA USA yearly conference and report important information back to the Board of Directors and members, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, act as a tie breaker in the event that the Board is unable to reach a majority decision, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The President will also work with the Secretary and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. This position carries a 2-year term.

Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall maintain the financial record of FL-JETAA, be responsible for preparing end of the fiscal year reports, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. This position carries a 2-year term.

Secretary:

The Secretary shall keep minutes during Board meetings and disseminate information to all Board of Directors, maintain FLJETAA documents, vote on issues presented to the Board of Directors, and represent Florida JETAA at a minimum of one (1) yearly event. The Secretary will also collaborate with the President and Information Officer to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members. Position carries a 2-year term.

Information Officer:

The Information Officer will collaborate with the Board of Directors, especially the Webmaster, and the JETAA community to maintain blog content and arrange for guest bloggers.  They will also work with the Secretary and President to create and distribute an annual report on the chapter’s activities to all FLJETAA members.

Regional Representatives

There are also openings for regional representatives in Gainesville, Treasure Coast, and Tallahassee. These positions are appointed by the elected officers. Regional representatives act as a point of contact for Florida JETAA and the JET Coordinator at the consulate regarding events and recruiting in your area. Reps are encouraged to plan one event a year if there is interest in their area.  Please contact Bahia at president[@]floridajetaa.org or Lauren at webmaster[@]floridajetaa.org if you're interested in being a representative for these regions.

20Aug/15Off

Satogaeri Project Results Are In!

Posted by admin

This month, 3 lucky JET alumni were selected from 165 applicants in North America. While no Florida applicants were selected, we congratulate Mark Frey, Xander Peterson, and Alex Svetlovsky!

Satogaeri Winners!

6Jul/15Off

Satogaeri Project – Chance for JET Alumni to Return to their Region and School in Japan

Posted by President

There are lots of exciting things happening lately! We just finished a very successful 10th anniversary Tampa Natsumatsuri and held a Q&A with the new JETs getting ready to head to Japan. We also had a great time at our first ever Archery event here in Miami. Our conversation meetups are going strong, with the Tampa Tsudoi held the first Friday of the month and the Miami's Coffee Kaiwa held on the last Saturday of the month.

What is really exciting, however, is a great opportunity for JET Program alumni to return to the area they lived in Japan and the school where they taught. The Satogaeri Project. As part of the project, JET alumni will return to their former places of work, and re-visit places with which they have a strong affiliation, local residents who they developed close relationships with, current JET participants and others, on the basis of their ‘Satogaeri Project Plan’. If accepted, the JET alum will travel to Japan from Monday, 9 November, 2015 – Friday, 13 November, 2015 (4 nights, 5 days). After participating in exchange activities in Tokyo, the participants will each return to the area in Japan where they lived and worked as a JET participant, and engage in activities according to their own ‘Satogaeri Project Plan’. CLAIR will cover the cost of travelling to Japan; domestic travel, accommodation and meal expenses in Japan (excluding meal expenses when the participant is not engaged in Satogaeri Project duties); and overseas travel accident insurance (travel insurance). For more details about this wonderful opportunity and how to apply, please visit: http://www.jetaausa.com/national-initiatives/satogaeri-project/

The application deadline for the Satogaeri Project is coming up soon, July 13th, 2015. If you'd like to apply and would like a letter of recommendation from the Florida JETAA chapter, please contact president@floridajetaa.org as soon as possible with a list of the ways you've been involved in JETAA (the requirement of active JETAA participation is waived if there is no JETAA chapter in your area, so if you're in a region of Florida where we do not have much representation we would be happy to provide a letter to that extent).

Eligibility
  1. Applicants must have completed their appointment on the JET Program as an ALT, CIR, SEA and be actively contributing to their local JET Alumni Association (if a chapter is in your area)
  2. You would be a suitable representative of JET Program alumni.  You have been recommended by your JETAA chapter (see recommendation letter information below).
  3. You have a strong desire to reconnect with your former contracting organization and the region you previously lived and worked in, and you are able to make direct contact and cooperate with the school/workplace that you worked at.
  4. Your former workplace is able to receive you (and carry out activities with you during your visit).
  5. You will actively post about your experiences in and impressions of Japan from the perspective of an international visitor on your blog, homepage, Facebook page or other means.
  6. You accept that there may be mass media coverage of your visit, and will cooperate where required.
  7. You will write a report of your experiences on the Satogaeri Project after returning to your home country.
  8. You are able to participate in the entire schedule of the Satogaeri Project.
  9. Your Satogaeri Project Plan is deemed appropriate.
  10. You are a participant who completed your term on the program 3 or more years ago (preferred).
Letters of Recommendation
  1. Letters of recommendation are not mandatory but are highly encouraged from your JETAA chapter or another Japan-related group, to show the applicant's engagement with alumni and likelihood to carry out the provisions of the project.
  2. Letter of recommendation should be sent to Arisa Maruno maruno@jlgc.org by July 13th

I hope that many members of our chapter will take advantage of this opportunity and apply!

5May/15Off

2015 Election Results

Posted by President

Thank you to everyone who cast their vote! The election results are now in.

The positions that were up for election this term were Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

We'd like to welcome our new officers, Jennifer Hwang as Vice-President, Autumn Widdoes as Secretary, and Lauren Sorondo as Webmaster. We have no doubt they will do a wonderful job in the coming year.

We'd also like to thank our outgoing officers. Allan Mortdetsky did a wonderful job as Vice-President, assisting at multiple events with the consulate, representing Florida JETAA at the JETAA USA national and regional conferences, and reaching out to the JBA. Thank you for your hard work.

Adriana Jenkins, our Keys Region Rep, stepped in as interim Secretary when our last secretary moved. Thank you for doing such a stellar job filling in.

Last, but not least, thank you to our outgoing Webmaster, David Shaw, for everything you've done.

Over the course of the next month, the outgoing and incoming officers will transition, with the new officers fully taking on their responsibilities on June 1st.

Read on for the bios of our new officers.

Vice-President

Jennifer Hwang

Originally from Southern California with an MA in Linguistics from San Jose State University, I was a JET in Shizuoka prefecture from 2008 to 2012. My first two years were spent as an ALT at a small, low academic level high school in rural Kawanehon-cho. I was later transferred to a high academic level high school in Yaizu City where over 90% of the students went on to universities. In my final year as an ALT, I was invited to transfer to the Prefrectural Education Center where I planned and facilitated several training workshops including Orientation for new JETs, Mid-Year Seminar for ALTs and JTEs, as well as mandatory refresher training for Japanese teachers only. I also helped piloted the Elementary School Foreign Language (ESFL) Program which was nationally institutionalized in 2011.

Since returning to the United States, I have taught English for Academic Purposes at Hillsborough Community College and am now an academic advisor for international students at INTO USF. In the past couple of years, I have declined recommendations to join the Florida JETAA board. However, now that I have become more familiar with Florida’s relationship with Japan--through attending Tampa’s Tsudoi and Natsumatsuri, participating in the 2013 JET PDO, volunteering with the Japan-America Society of Tampa Bay (JASTB), as well as meeting with the Deputy Consul General and attending the Networking Meeting for Sister City Representatives--I feel that I can make a productive contribution to our association as Vice-President. I am eager to support the President in bringing alumni across the state together as well as providing more support for JET at both the national and local level. I know that Japan holds a special place in all of hearts and I would love to help people maintain their relationship with the country.

Secretary

Autumn Widdoes

I was born and raised in Florida and currently call Tampa my hometown.  I've lived in Germany, Vietnam, England, and Japan.   I completed my BA at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU and my MA in Performance Studies at Tisch/NYU.   I spent 4 years on JET in Okinawa from 2010-2014, where I lived in both Ishigaki and Naha. While in Japan, I helped organize Tohoku relief efforts via the SHINSAI:  Theaters for Japan fundraiser and we raised more than 70000 yen in one afternoon of live performance presented in both English and Japanese.  I also founded a bilingual performance collective called TASK 沖縄 after teaching several performance/dance theater making classes at ひやみかち学校 culture school in Naha, Okinawa.  Since returning to Florida, I have been actively involved in the JETAA community in the Tampa Bay region, speaking at JET recruitment events at Eckerd College and helping organize the Tampa screening of LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story.  My long term goals are to promote Japanese performance/arts in the US and to bring more Japanese and Japan-related arts, film, and performance to the Tampa region.   I look forward to working with the JETAA communities throughout Florida to instill a sense of importance in maintaining our connection to Japan via JET.

Webmaster

Lauren Sorondo

Hello! My name is Lauren Sorondo, and I'm a Miami native. In September 2014, I returned from 2 years in Kumamoto with JET. Since then, I've been participated in FL JETAA events, such as the Bounenkai and the recent  film screening for the Taylor Anderson Story down in Miami. I've also stated hosting "Coffee 会話," a conversation circle in South Florida. While I don't have prior experience as a webmaster, I am passionate about JETAA and supporting the new and old alumni. In a state as large as Florida, I believe the best way is through communication of events. I hope to be able to continue improving the website that our previous officers have worked hard to create.  🙂

30Mar/15Off

2015 Florida JETAA Elections – Bios and Voting Information

Posted by President

VOTING IS CLOSED FOR 2015. NO FURTHER VOTES WILL BE COUNTED.

Thank you for voting and we will announce the winners shortly.

---

The positions up for election this term are Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.

 

Vice-President

Allan Mortdetsky

Hello everyone in Florida JETAA. Allan here, your vice president. It's been great serving ya'll for the past year and change and I'd like to do it again if you'll have me. I've volunteered with the Consulate and represented JETAA at functions, researched and started projects for bringing events to Florida and trying to break the wall of the JBA, and represented Florida at the past regional and national conferences. I look forward to helping FLJETAA continue to grow. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Allan M.
Vice President Florida JETAA

Jennifer Hwang

Originally from Southern California with an MA in Linguistics from San Jose State University, I was a JET in Shizuoka prefecture from 2008 to 2012. My first two years were spent as an ALT at a small, low academic level high school in rural Kawanehon-cho. I was later transferred to a high academic level high school in Yaizu City where over 90% of the students went on to universities. In my final year as an ALT, I was invited to transfer to the Prefrectural Education Center where I planned and facilitated several training workshops including Orientation for new JETs, Mid-Year Seminar for ALTs and JTEs, as well as mandatory refresher training for Japanese teachers only. I also helped piloted the Elementary School Foreign Language (ESFL) Program which was nationally institutionalized in 2011.

Since returning to the United States, I have taught English for Academic Purposes at Hillsborough Community College and am now an academic advisor for international students at INTO USF. In the past couple of years, I have declined recommendations to join the Florida JETAA board. However, now that I have become more familiar with Florida’s relationship with Japan--through attending Tampa’s Tsudoi and Natsumatsuri, participating in the 2013 JET PDO, volunteering with the Japan-America Society of Tampa Bay (JASTB), as well as meeting with the Deputy Consul General and attending the Networking Meeting for Sister City Representatives--I feel that I can make a productive contribution to our association as Vice-President. I am eager to support the President in bringing alumni across the state together as well as providing more support for JET at both the national and local level. I know that Japan holds a special place in all of hearts and I would love to help people maintain their relationship with the country.

Secretary

Autumn Widdoes

I was born and raised in Florida and currently call Tampa my hometown.  I've lived in Germany, Vietnam, England, and Japan.   I completed my BA at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU and my MA in Performance Studies at Tisch/NYU.   I spent 4 years on JET in Okinawa from 2010-2014, where I lived in both Ishigaki and Naha. While in Japan, I helped organize Tohoku relief efforts via the SHINSAI:  Theaters for Japan fundraiser and we raised more than 70000 yen in one afternoon of live performance presented in both English and Japanese.  I also founded a bilingual performance collective called TASK 沖縄 after teaching several performance/dance theater making classes at ひやみかち学校 culture school in Naha, Okinawa.  Since returning to Florida, I have been actively involved in the JETAA community in the Tampa Bay region, speaking at JET recruitment events at Eckerd College and helping organize the Tampa screening of LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story.  My long term goals are to promote Japanese performance/arts in the US and to bring more Japanese and Japan-related arts, film, and performance to the Tampa region.   I look forward to working with the JETAA communities throughout Florida to instill a sense of importance in maintaining our connection to Japan via JET.

Webmaster

Lauren Sorondo

Hello! My name is Lauren Sorondo, and I'm a Miami native. In September 2014, I returned from 2 years in Kumamoto with JET. Since then, I've been participated in FL JETAA events, such as the Bounenkai and the recent  film screening for the Taylor Anderson Story down in Miami. I've also stated hosting "Coffee 会話," a conversation circle in South Florida. While I don't have prior experience as a webmaster, I am passionate about JETAA and supporting the new and old alumni. In a state as large as Florida, I believe the best way is through communication of events. I hope to be able to continue improving the website that our previous officers have worked hard to create.  🙂

 

To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.

27Mar/15Off

General Announcements

Posted by President

Election Update!

We are running a bit late in getting everything set up for our annual elections. I apologize about that. Election information will be up soon and you will have 2 weeks to vote regardless of the start date of the elections. I will post the information here and you should receive an email with details if you are on our mailing list. (If you're not on our mailing list or want to change your email address or other information, you can do that here: http://www.floridajetaa.org/about/joining-florida-jetaa/ )

SOUTH FLORIDA/MIAMI:

Internship opportunity at the Morikami Museum and Gardens in DelRay Beach: http://www.floridajetaa.org/…/2015-summer-internship-at-th…/

TAMPA:

Planning for Natsumatsuri is underway.  This is Tampa's only Japanese Summer Festival, and this is our 10th year.  The festival is entirely non-profit and community-based.  This means it's all run by volunteers and everything at the festival is provided by the Japanese cultural community in the area: that's you!

So, we are looking for volunteers to set up games and exhibits.  You can make your own or run one of the games we have. If you want to volunteer, contact John at tampa@floridajetaa.org

We also need vendors who sell anything Japan-related.  There is no fee to vend.  We just ask for a donation of 10% of your sales that day to cover costs.

Keep in mind, a portion of the money raised at the event goes to help ongoing rebuilding in the Tsunami area, another portion goes to fund intercultural education efforts in Florida, and the rest, covers costs to bring you the only authentically Japanese experience on the Florida West Coast.  So if you love Japan or miss the fun of Natsumatsuri, please come help us out.

You can find more info on facebook, www.facebook.com/tampanatsu.  Join us there to stay up to date and see how you can help.  Remember, we really do need your help.  Together we make this happen.

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