Harriton High School junior Josephine Kwok has been selected as the winner of the Kobe College Corporation – Japan Education Exchange (KCC-JEE) High School Essay Contest – a nationwide competition for high school students studying Japanese.
This year's essay prompt tasked applicants with discussing their experiences throughout 2020-2021 and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely addressing the following questions: What advantages did you discover through today's advanced communication technologies that you may have not found otherwise? What would you expect to gain from a homestay and language class in Japan?
As this year's winner, Kwok will receive roundtrip airfare to Japan, a homestay in Kyoto and four weeks of Japanese language instruction. Due to ongoing difficulties with COVID-19 in Japan, however, the KCC-JEE has decided to postpone her trip to the summer of 2021-22.
"Since they only take one winner, this is such an achievement," said Hanae Nakamura, Kwok's Japanese teacher at Harriton. "Josephine did a great job at describing how she handled the pandemic and what connections with people mean to her!"
KCC-JEE is the oldest U.S.-Japan collaborative organization in America. KCC-JEE provides teacher, scholar and student exchange programs, and holds concerts, gatherings and other events that promote cultural understanding. KCC-JEE has preserved and nurtured its deep ties to Japan's Kobe College while expanding its mission to provide opportunities for both Kobe College students and American students, researchers and educators to travel and experience Japan and America.