I moved to DC from Los Angeles, just two weeks after finishing grad school at the University of Southern California (USC) for a six month position at AARP. At USC I studied social work and focused on mental health and gerontology. My close relationship with my grandparents grew my passion and desire to serve our older adult population and they are a big motivation for me to do this work. My passion and my grad school studies aligned well with AARP. AARP seeks to empower people to live how they live as they age. This mission aligns well with what I am called to do as a professional social worker.
Prior to attending grad school I worked for a small accounting business in Torrance, CA, where I grew up. I worked for a relative and learned valuable skills that I still utilize even with my work at AARP. As a Yonsei, a fourth generation Japanese American, the accounting career path made sense. However, after almost five years of working in accounting, I finally made the decision to pursue geriatric social work. Fast forward two years, I am now at AARP and very much feel like I am where I am supposed to be. Shortly after starting at AARP, my colleague, Ron Mori connected me with the JACL-DC chapter. I was not involved in JACL back home, but Ron invited me out to JACL events and encouraged me to get involved. My very first volunteer experience was the JACL National Convention! I knew that there was no looking back after that!
I have gotten a lot more involved with JACL since moving out to DC, and am excited to join the JACL-DC chapter board this year. I look forward to getting to know other chapter members living in the DC Metro area. I also hope to utilize my background in social work and gerontology to do some programming around caregiving and aging in 2018 for our chapter. I now reside in Silver Spring, Maryland and am hoping to transition to a more long-term position at AARP. Plus now that I am on the board, I can’t leave just yet!