Accepting Applications for YMCA Teen Leadership Institute & Youth Exchange to Japan

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Local teenagers have a chance to experience Japanese culture through the YMCA Teen Leadership Institute. Teens currently in grades 8-12 will travel to Kobe, Hiroshima and Kyoto this summer from July 22 - August 7, 2010. Applications are now being accepted through March 31 and group selection will take place in early April.

Participants learn important leadership skills, cultural sensitivity, history and language through home stays, visiting historical places and interacting with teens their own age. There are 14 spots available in the Annual YMCA Teen Leadership Institute, a 45–year-old international partnership between the YMCA of Greater Seattle and Kobe YMCA.

Michaella Rosner, a participant in last year’s Youth Exchange, feels that the experience was truly eye-opening. “Japan really made me understand how similar people are across cultures. You can hear all your life how much we all have in common, but it doesn't really sink in until you're high-fiving Japanese girls and talking about boys. It's also incredible how willing my host family was to accept me into their family. They begin their emails to me ‘Dear our daughter Michaella.’ I get homesick for Japan sometimes,” she says.
 YMCA of Greater Seattle is part of the World Alliance of YMCAs in 122 countries. The Teen Leadership program is one of a number of international programs the Seattle YMCA is offering for teens, young adults and families.

The subsidized cost for the program (including pre-trip training, airfare, transportation, food, lodging and activities) is $2,750. Financial assistance is available to the extent possible for those in need.

Parents and applicants can join one of following information meetings to learn more about the trip:

  • Monday, March 21, 7 pm, Northshore Family YMCA, 11811 NE 195th St, Bothell, WA 98011
  • Tuesday, March 22, 7 pm, West Seattle High School Library, 3000 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
  • Thursday, March 25, 7 pm, Coal Creek Family YMCA, 13750 Newcastle Golf Club Road, Newcastle, WA 98059
About the YMCA of Greater Seattle: The YMCA of Greater Seattle is a charitable, non-profit organization serving King and south Snohomish counties since 1876. Reaching more than 140,700 people annually through 12 branches, two overnight camps and more than 200 program sites, the YMCA provides a wide range of programs and services in child care, youth development, education, foster care, family support, wellness and outdoor experiences. More information may be found at


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