Graduate Program

2024 May & June Graduate Program Report

May and June were filled with many opportunities to interact with the people who greatly support Mirai no Mori, as well as many events that presented new challenges for the graduates!

At the KIWL Charity Ride in May, we had five graduates participate in the event, supporting and interacting with the riders. They were asked to think carefully about the purpose of their participation in this event, and to set specific goals such as “to practice speaking English that I have been practicing” and “to talk to various people to find out why they wanted to participate in the charity ride,” to have a meaningful time. In addition, they presented their speeches after the goal. Most of the graduates had practiced several times with the camp staff beforehand and prepared carefully. Some of the graduates challenged themselves to deliver their speeches in English, while others gave speeches that brought tears to the eyes of those listening to them, and their growth was very impressive.

“This time, I participated in the Mirai no Mori event not as an LIT, but as a graduate, and I felt that what was expected of me as a graduate had grown as well. I was happy that I was able to present my speech at the end of the event. I also felt that I should not be satisfied by finishing a speech, and that I should continue to work hard to achieve the goals I set for myself!” by graduate

“It was great to participate for two days and get to know the thoughts of the participants and organizers in the event, which I could not see when I was a child or a high school student. I was particularly impressed by the scene where Jeff told Rob with tears in his eyes, ‘Without your efforts, we would not be here, and Mirai no Mori would not be able to support so many children, so we are truly grateful.’ I also felt myself becoming able to understand these conversations in English which made me happy.” by graduate

In June, 4 graduates joined as participants in a beach clean in Enoshima with KEEN staff and enjoyed interacting with them. We also participated in Morgan Stanley’s Awareness Talk event, where we introduced Mirai no Mori and had a graduate representative talk about life in a care home, stories of growth and skills learned at Mirai no Mori that are useful in her current life.

“Walking from Fujisawa to Enoshima not only gave me a chance to exercise for the first time in a while, but I also received good advice from the KEEN staff that I can use in the film production I am currently studying. I also picked up a lot of trash and had a great day.” by graduate

“It was my first time speaking for an hour in front of 100 people and I was very nervous. My head sometimes got all jumbled up when I was talking, but I was happy to have a New experience. After the meeting was over, many Morgan Staley staff came and told me how great the talk was, which made me very happy.” by graduate

“I was very impressed with how enthusiastically the graduates engaged in their speeches at the KIWL Ride. I was happy to see that because they were participating for their own reasons, they seemed to be even more aware of the significance of their participation and how to apply what they learned to their own daily lives than when they were campers and LITs.” by camp staff