Thank you!

Over the last two weeks, I traveled back to America to begin an important part of Danketsu. Solidifying connections. I traveled to Garrison Forest where I connected with Kim Marlor, the tennis coach for Garrison Forest High School, located in Owings Mills, Maryland. Kim Marlor and her tennis team will be connecting with the Notre Dame Seishin tennis team located in Kurashiki, Japan. Garrison Forest has a strong tradition of utilizing sports to help students develop a strong sense of integrity, self-esteem, cooperation, sportsmanship, responsibility, loyalty and a sense of contribution to a group effort through athletics. This sentiment was shared when I sat down and spoke with Kim Marlor. She is an incredible coach, and person who believes that sports have the ability to develop the building blocks of good global citizens.

I also traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to study under Head Coach John Troxell and his staff. At Franklin and Marshall, I was equipped with plays, drills, advice and an incredible donation of jerseys. All of this information, as well as the jerseys, will be used to develop the Kibi International University football team into a local beacon of football information and a source for younger players within rural Okayama to learn from. The Franklin and Marshall Diplomats have been playing football in Lancaster for 129 years, and are currently poised to begin their 12th season under Coach John Troxell. The staff at Franklin and Marshall are known for pushing their players, creating student-athletes with strong self-discipline, and a bond that lasts even after graduation. Explaining the program’s motto: “Not four years, but a lifetime.”

Thank you to Garrison Forrest Athletics and Kim Marlor, as well as Franklin and Marshall College Athletics, Coach Troxell, and his staff.

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Current Master's candidate at The Hiroshima University with a focus on post-conflict Peacebuilding. How can we as actors of the international community and indeed our own domestic communities work together for both sustainable and impactful change? Through local engagement in conjunction with governance and accountability, we can seek to instill such change. Thus far, I have received 3 grants and scholarships that have been utilized to advance cross-cultural understanding and international cooperation. The first grant was utilized to conduct research within the National Basketball Association to identify cross-cultural behavioral episodes by athletes. The second, to start Danketsu; a project that engages sports as a medium to connect institutions with the common goal of growing global citizens. With Danketsu and the cooperation of local actors in America and Japan, it has culminated in 3 years of experience connecting institutions and youths internationally. The most recent grant, awarded by the Rotary Club in Japan requires a command of both spoken and written Japanese (through interviews and research proposals). It is awarded to students who exemplify integrity and a propensity to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. It is my firm belief that although we all do not possess the tools to resolve both direct and indirect violence, we must utilize the tools that come naturally to try.

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