This story originally ran in our 2014 Graduation Issue. To purchase a copy of the issue, which includes a list of this year’s Nikkei high school and college graduates, please stop by our office or call us at (213) 629-2231.

When Kassidy Kozai’s elder sister, Kendall, gave the culmination speech at the end of her auspicious training with Rising Stars in 2005, a Japanese American leadership program designed to train leaders and inspire youth involvement, she congratulated her fellow “Stars” and shared that the program empowered them with the opportunity to find themselves, push themselves, and groomed them with confidence to be a part of the new generation of leaders. Since then, she has strived to make good on that promise.

Kozai Kendall gradKendall received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Southern California in 2009, followed by a master’s in international affairs from American University in Washington, D.C., in 2011.

While in D.C., she served as a foreign affairs intern for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, as a United Nations intern for the U.S. Dept. of State under Secretary Hillary Clinton, was a research associate at a global pro bono law firm, the Public International Law & Policy Group, working on constitutional and international criminal issues in Kenya, and was a research intern for the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission.

Further, she was appointed by the U.S. Dept. of State as the United States delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s youth forum in Paris, to discuss global challenges currently facing youth, co-authoring a report providing recommendations that were then presented to the UNESCO General Conference, and was selected to be a speaker at the annual meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Through her academic years, Kendall has also studied abroad at the University of London, Trinity College in Dublin and Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Kendall recently graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law, with a Juris Doctor degree. She served as president of the USF Law Democrats, a board member for the Global Justice Advocacy Project, and a member of the Intellectual Property Law Bulletin.

She also participated in the USF International Human Rights Law Clinic and had the opportunity to speak at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, where she worked on violence against girls in schools, and the United States Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, before the entire international delegation, to whom she addressed the right to vote. Her professional affiliations include the Public International Law and Policy Group Advisory Council, the American Society of International Law, and Women in International Security.

–Story courtesy Kathy Kozai

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