Conference participants visit the Memorial to Japanese American Patriotism in World War II. They are joined by JACL Midwest Regional Director Bill Yoshino (third from left).

WASHINGTON — From March 15 to 18, JACL hosted its annual D.C. Collegiate Leadership Conference with 12 participants from across the nation.

The student leaders selected for the 2013 program were Steven Che, Julie Chen, Kathryn Cunningham, Mariko Fujimoto, Nicole Gaddie, Joyce Im, Michaela Ishino, Sakura Kato, Andy Le, Merissa Nakamura, Jiawen Tang, and Juliet Shen.

Over the weekend, they participated in a variety of workshops designed to enhance their knowledge of issues affecting Asian American/Pacific Islander communities and deepen their commitment to achieving equity and equality for all.

In combination with the ongoing JACL/OCA Leadership Summit, the student leaders were able to attend a dinner with former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and participate in a White House briefing with several Obama Administration officials.

The leadership conference provided an opportunity for the students to network with other collegiate leaders from across the country in an effort to share ideas and impact change.

This year’s conference would not have been possible without the help of its generous sponsors, UPS and Southwest Airlines.

Participants in the D.C. Collegiate Leadership Conference and the JACL-OCA Leadership Summit hear from Norman Mineta, who has served as a congressman representing Silicon Valley, secretary of commerce for President Bill Clinton and secretary of transportation for President George W. Bush.

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