Japanese American Youth Leadership Initiative (JAYLI)

The Japanese American Youth Leadership Initiative (JAYLI) was a 5-week online program, fully funded by the Japanese American Leadership Delegation 2019 cohort. Launched in March 2021, JAYLI invited 20 high school students from 17 different high schools all over Japan.

Three Main Pillars:

Global Leadership

Global Leadership is a core online iLEAP course that grounds students in the foundations of leadership. The students learn the key principles of effective leadership while uncovering their core values through dynamic exercises and reflective practice. Learn More

Leadership Mentoring

Leadership Mentoring provides special sessions with Japanese American leaders from the fields of business, law, education, engineering and government.  Students have multiple session with their mentors deepening connections through discussions about leadership challenges, core values and future visions.

English for Transformational Leadership

English for Transformational Leadership (ETL) is a unique English language course specially designed by Western Washington University for iLEAP students. The students gain confidence in writing, comprehension, and speaking skills while focusing on the leadership specific vocabulary needed to achieve their goals. Learn More

Program Goals

For this JAYLI program, four specific goals were set up:

  • Goal 1: Understand their own leadership, and how effective leadership can look like in global contexts
  • Goal 2: Acquire the knowledge and skills that 21st century leaders need to operate professionally in equitable and inclusive ways across cultures
  • Goal 3: Inspire Japanese youth to utilize their own leadership through interaction with Japanese American mentors
  • Goal 4: Connect students to each other and encourage them to find ways to collaborate and advance social change in Japan and the world



of the participants said this online program provided a meaningful learning experience for them. 


of the participants successfully discovered their own leadership and strengths through this program.


of the participants said they gained a deeper understanding of who they are.


of the participants said they want to continue developing the relationship with other program participants.


of the participants said they discovered their future vision by learning about who they are.


of the participants said they want to recommend this program to others who wish to learn about leadership.

Vulnerability was my learning. In the future, I want to be an entrepreneur in a global setting. I want to be a leader who can show vulnerability to other team members.

-S.N. 18 years old

My perception about leaders has changed completely. I thought leaders should always lead, lead and lead. But I learned leaders need to always be aware of being one of the members too. Leaders can be friendly, kind and smiling to other people.

-K.Y. 18 years old

Being honest with myself was very impactful. I tend to think “I have to be like that” but I want to be positive about myself and be honest with myself.

-H.K. 17 years old

Course Details

Program Schedule

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In partnership with:

Western Washington University