Nicole Sato (left) stepped down as program manager at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute at the end of September to embark on new adventures in Northern California. For three years she developed programs and services, finding new ways for people to connect with GVJCI, including social media, and bringing innovative and fresh perspectives to GVJCI’s work. The new program manager is Stephanie Mayeda (right), a Torrance native and a Yonsei, who volunteered for years and completed an internship at GVJCI. One of her goals is to take the N4 Japanese Language Proficiency Test next year. “The GVJCI has given me so many invaluable opportunities to help me grow both personally and professionally, and by taking on this role, I hope to give back just as much,” she said. (Photo by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

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