Youth CAN participants join Kizuna staff and volunteers for a group photo in 2015.
Youth CAN participants join Kizuna staff and volunteers for a group photo in 2015.

Kizuna announces that applications for the 2016 Youth CAN program are now available online at

Kizuna’s Youth CAN program offers high school students a unique summer opportunity to discover their passion for being involved in the Japanese American community. Students are able to find how they can personally contribute to the community, as well as develop skills and experiences in leadership.

The Youth CAN program seeks to build a future for the Japanese American community through the development of a new generation of community leaders who are passionate, effective, and aware. Kizuna’s model of success is centered around developing well-rounded students with a strong self-identity that propels them in an increasingly complex world.

The program runs from June 15 to Aug. 17 on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9:45 p.m. Over the course of the 10 weekly sessions, students engage in interactive workshops, discover personal identity, explore community issues and address critical needs in the Japanese American community through community service projects.

The program has two tracks, each with a valuable experience. Track 1 is for students who are new to the program. This track introduces concepts of identity, community and Little Tokyo. Incoming students learn the basics of the Japanese American community as well as discover their individual role in the community’s future.

Track 2 is designed for returning students and focuses on deeper community involvement. Students apply the skills they have learned, as well as utilize the networks they have built from previous years to create and implement projects that have a positive impact on the community.

These tracks combined allow a continual space for high school students to be engaged in the Nikkei community annually during the summer.

The Youth CAN program is one of several programs hosted by Kizuna, which seeks to build a pipeline of leadership for the Japanese American community. Together, these programs offer a wide variety of learning experiences and ensure commitment from the next generation of youth.

For more information about the program, including how to apply online, visit For additional questions, contact Craig Ishii at or call (213) 973-4465.

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