Shota Aikawa, Japan

Shota Aikawa
Japan

TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP
Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Summer 2017

Shota’s Story

Originally from Tokyo, Shota is majoring in Economics at Sophia University.

Shota is interested in reshaping Japanese education culture to be more encouraging of students cultivating their own philosophies. He sees Japanese high school culture as limited in thought, in that students are often pressured by teachers, parents, and school policies to aim only for wealth, by entering directly into a prestigious university, that will secure a big-company job.

In April 2016, he co-established Fora, an association teamed up with Recruit Marketing Partners, that provides career education workshops for 22 high schools. Last year, the program reached approximately 6500 high school students. He believes that it is vital to provide this type of program in rural areas of Japan due to the information and education gap. Shota also believes that it is important to continually engage with students beyond a single workshop. Hence, he is eager to expand this program throughout Japan, as well as offer more long-term workshops to help students discover and define their core values. Shota hopes to eventually introduce this program as an official course in public school curriculums.

Through the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Shota wants to confirm his own core values and redefine the direction of his service: what he wants to serve, who he wants to serve, and what kind of opportunities he can provide others.