SGLI in Hawaii②
14days of being inspired doesn't even begin to describe what the SGLI program was to the three of us. Like any other camp you learn how to step out of your comfort zone and socialize with complete strangers. However, with the safe environment of SGLI where cliques are addressed and prejudice is wiped away, I believe I was able to be the most myself in a sense that there was always no consequence of judgement based on my actions. I met adults who've had unimaginable lives, who've "triggered" me and for that are now my role models. I made lifelong friends who are from countries I never expected myself to visit let alone will always have a place to stay. This has no doubt been a rewarding experience.
I applied to this program expecting eye-opening experiences, but still I left Hawaii with a completely different perspective to everything, including Hawaii itself. Thanks to my amazing new friends who go to Punahou School (the school that hosts SGLI) they provided me with the local aspects of Hawaii, the non touristy side of the island, the Hawaii that I never knew. The homelessness that the island suffers, the underlying tension that can emerge through the diversity that the Americans have so much pride of, the repercussions of Pearl Harbor that still continue to this day, the Japanese Americans whom have straddle their sovereignty and loyalty, this is only a taste of the truths that I came to realize throughout 14days of SGLI.
I believe that not only was I able to gain enlightening perspectives, but was also given the opportunity to contribute to the community of SGLI, share my perspective as a Japanese, as a student from ICUHS, as a teenager, and as an individual.
"The community you deserve is the one you help build. "
I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to participate in such a fantastic summer program, and to have joined a loving, diverse family.