TOMODACHI Honda Global Leadership Program

Growth Records of High School Students
Who Experienced “The Power of Dreams”

The high school students who participated in this TOMODACHI Honda Program were given “The Power of Dreams Diary” in advance to keep daily records. They left Japan with anxiety and expectations and experienced “The Power of Dreams.” Some of the words written in their diaries are shown below to see how they have changed through this program.

These two weeks changed me,
who used to be ashamed of having no dreams

Each of the high school students who participated in the program had their own dreams. Among them, only Ms. Hamaguchi stated before leaving Japan that she did not have a specific dream and that she had felt ashamed of that. After completing the program, she said with a smile, “I was able to grow.” What did she feel there?

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Emika Hamaguchi
(Second-year student at Kumamoto Prefectural Uto Senior High School)


“I had felt ashamed of having no dreams. But having a job should not be the only dream. I learned a lot in the United States this time, and I want to look for what I really want to be.”

After completing the two-week program

“Previously, I was not clear about my dream. But as I spent time in the United States, my way of thinking gradually changed. This was triggered by a workshop in Little Tokyo. At the workshop, I learned the fun of exchanging opinions and the joy of expressing myself. Through the program, I encountered many new ideas and learned a lot.
My current dream is to connect with many people and spread a circle of smiles. If this can be realized, I think everyone will be able to consider someone else’s happiness as their own happiness. This is what I think is ‘The Power of Dreams.’ People cannot live alone. So I want to create a society where people support each other.”

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Before and after for Emika Hamaguchi

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Before
I had felt ashamed of having no dreams.  

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After
I met various people in the United States, and now my dream is to connect with many people and spread a circle of smiles.

Turning Point
Through the workshop at Little Tokyo, I learned the fun of exchanging opinions and expressing myself.

Emika Hamaguchi’s “The Power of Dreams Diary”

August 17:
Excited and also nervous about the first visit to the United States

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MEMO

・Travel (Narita Airport⇒Los Angeles International Airport)
・Visit to American Honda Motor & welcome dinner


“I met many people at the welcome dinner and talked to them in English. Honestly, I didn’t have the confidence of speaking English well, but had a very fun time partly because everybody talked to me in a friendly manner. I think I gained a little confidence in myself.”

August 18:
 Learned many things at a workshop

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MEMO

・Japan-U.S. cultural interaction—visit to Little Tokyo
・Interaction—Ukuleles with Daniel Ho
・Workshop by calligrapher Kuniharu Yoshida


“Through the ukulele and calligraphy workshop at Little Tokyo, I learned the fun of free expression. At the same time, by interacting with many people and talking about various things, I also learned the fun of expressing myself. Today was the day I made many discoveries.”

August 19:
The first homestay

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MEMO

・Travel (Los Angeles International Airport⇒Port Columbus International Airport)
・Meeting with the host family

August 22:
 Through interaction, learned how listeners feel

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MEMO

・Interaction with students of Japanese language classes at Dublin Scioto High School & Dublin Coffman High School

“Students in the Japanese language classes prepared questions in advance. I was very happy that they talked to us a lot. At the same time, I think I learned how people feel when we were about to speak to them in English. I want to continue to connect with many people actively even after going back to Japan.”

August 23:
The last night with my host family

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MEMO

・Visit to a class at Dublin Coffman High School
・Farewell party with the host family

“Today is the last day for my home stay. Trisha (my host family) said, ‘I want to go to Japan someday.’ When hearing it, I thought, ‘I want her to come to Kumamoto.’ If Trisha comes to Kumamoto, I want to bring her to many places as she did for me. To prepare for such a time, I will study my home town more.”

August 25:
Recognized support from the people around me
through interaction with Japanese students

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MEMO

・Interaction with Japanese students at Columbus Japanese Language School
・Travel (Port Columbus International Airport⇒Los Angeles International Airport)

“I heard that at Columbus Japanese Language School, many adults cooperate to support the school. I think the reason why we can always live a life with smiles is that we are supported by the people around us. I had a renewed sense of gratitude.”

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MEMO

“At the airport in Columbus, I saw Honda cars and engines on display. I also remember seeing the word “Honda” in American cities many times. I thought this proves that Honda’s dream, which was born in Japan, has grown so well that it has fully penetrated into the daily lives of Americans.”

August 27 (Mon.):
 The final day of the program

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MEMO

・Special lecture by racing driver Mr. Takuma Sato “Toward realization of dreams”
・Honda mobility experience
・Presentation of achievements of The Power of Dreams
・Farewell party

“I’m not really good at communication, so at first, I found it difficult to express myself when I was with other people. But through this program, I met many people, accumulated experiences, and was able to express my thoughts in words during the final presentation.”


My dream is to make autonomous cars
for people with disabilities

Kotomi Ikeda’s dream is to make safe autonomous cars. She said she was able to spend her dream time through this program, including a tour of a Honda plant in America and a special lecture by racing driver, Mr. Takuma Sato. What did she feel there?

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Kotomi Ikeda
(Second-year student at Nagasaki Prefectural Nagasaki Technical High School)

“My dream is to make safe autonomous cars for people with disabilities who love to drive, like my older brother who has epilepsy. From this program, I would like to learn at American Honda how to enrich people.”

 

After completing the two-week program

“Through this program, I met many people and was able to broaden my horizons. In particular, I cannot forget the advice given by Mr. Takuma Sato during his lecture. Believing his words ‘If you strive toward your dream, someone who sees you will give you a chance,’ I will work hard toward my dream!”

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Before and after for Kotomi Ikeda

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Before
Although I had a dream of making autonomous cars for people with disabilities, it was just a shadowy notion.

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After
Through various experiences in the United States, I now have a strong desire to realize my dream.

Turning Point
I was impressed by the associates working at Honda of America’s plant. Each have their own dreams and work hard. Also, I was moved by the words by Mr. Takuma Sato, whom I adore, “If you strive toward your dream, there will be someone who see you and give you a chance.”

Kotomi Ikeda’s “The Power of Dreams Diary”

August 17:
Time to leave for the United States

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MEMO

・Travel (Narita Airport⇒Los Angeles International Airport)
・Visit to American Honda Motor & welcome dinner


“This is my first overseas trip. At first, my family was opposed to the trip, but they now understand my feeling and give me their support. I usually don’t feel comfortable talking in front of people because I worry about what other people think. But I will try to do my best to speak confidently when I am in the United States. I’m glad I was able to hear about cars from Mr. Morikawa at American Honda on the first day!”

August 19:
On the first day of homestay,
surprised that everything is different from Japan

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MEMO

・Travel (Los Angeles International Airport⇒Port Columbus International Airport)
・Meeting with the host family


“The homestay began today. Streets and houses in Columbus are very beautiful, the house of my host family is very big, and I’m surprised that everything here is different from Japan. I learned that Japan, which was the whole world to me, is in fact just a part of the world. I want to broaden my horizons more through the experiences I will have in the United States.”

August 21:
Impressed by the manufacturing process of cars and seeing real engines

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MEMO

・Visit to Honda of America’s plant
・Visit to Honda Heritage Center and lecture by the vice president
・Visit to Transportation Research Center (the largest vehicle testing and demonstration testing site in the United States)

“We visited the Honda of America plant. I was surprised that it was so big! I heard that the inside of the plant is designed in detail so that work can be efficiently performed. Most of all, I thought Honda associates are very cool as they all have dreams and pride in their work.  
At Honda Heritage Center, I saw many engines and cars on display. I was so excited that I took a lot of pictures (laugh).”

August 22:
Interacted in English with students of Japanese language classes

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MEMO

・Interaction with students of Japanese language classes at Dublin Scioto High School & Dublin Coffman High School

“I’m very glad that I met people who love Japan in the United States! (There were students who like animations!) I was surprised that the students who said they like Japan and animations are all good at Japanese.”

August 26:
Spent final precious moments with my new friends

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MEMO

・Interaction with associates of American Honda Motor and their families at Disneyland Resort

“We went to Disneyland together! I’m very glad that I was able to spend final precious moments with the friends I met through this program. It was a very fun day!”

August 27 (Mon.):
Moved by the words of Mr. Takuma Sato

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MEMO

・Special lecture by racing driver Mr. Takuma Sato “Toward realization of dreams”
・Honda mobility experience
・Presentation of achievements of The Power of Dreams
・Farewell party

“I never imagined that I was able to meet Mr. Takuma Sato one day, and it was like a dream. Today, I learned the preciousness of working hard toward a dream and the importance of keeping taking on challenges. Mr. Sato said, “Dreams will come true unless you give up.” So I thought I will tackle what I can do now, one by one, without giving up on my dream, while always keeping the spirit of taking on challenges like Mr. Sato.”


I learned through the program
that dreams will absolutely come true

Daichi Tamaki’s dream is to communicate the charm of his hometown, Ishigaki Island.
He said that this program made him feel that dreams will absolutely come true. What did he feel while in the United States?

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Daichi Tamaki
(Third-year student at Okinawa Prefectural Yaeyama High School)

“My dream is to communicate the charm of my hometown, Ishigaki Island, to those visiting the island for sightseeing. I’m currently studying the nature and history of the Yaeyama Islands. Through this program, I would like to broaden my horizons.”

 

After completing the two-week program

“Realizing dreams is enriching one’s limited life. That is what I learned through this program. To make my dream come true, I must first establish a well-defined goal. On the way toward the goal, I may face high walls that I cannot easily overcome. In such circumstances, I will work together with TOMODACHI (friends) that I met through this program to overcome the wall. There is nothing we cannot do. That is because dreams will absolutely come true!”

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Before and after for Daichi Tamaki

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Before
Although I had a dream of communicating the charm of my hometown, Ishigaki Island, to those visiting the island for sightseeing, I was at a loss about where to start.

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After
I learned that it is important to first establish a clear goal in order to make my dream come true. At the same time, I was able to strongly believe that dreams will absolutely come true.

Turning Point
I gained confidence in myself by overcoming difficulties together with TOMODACHI (friends) in a foreign country. I was also encouraged by the words of Mr. Takuma Sato, such as “It is important to establish goals in order to make dreams come true” and “Dreams will absolutely come true.”

Daichi Tamaki’s “The Power of Dreams Diary”

August 17:
Time to leave for the United States

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MEMO

・Travel (Narita Airport⇒Los Angeles International Airport)
・Visit to American Honda Motor & welcome dinner

August 18 (Sat.):
Japanese culture that connects Japan and the United States

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MEMO

・Japan-U.S. cultural interaction—visit to Little Tokyo
・Interaction—Ukuleles with Daniel Ho
・Workshop by calligrapher Kuniharu Yoshida


“Mr. Kuniharu Yoshida, the teacher of the calligraphy workshop, has acted as a bridge between Japan and America through calligraphy. One day, I want to become a bridge with overseas countries, too, through the Yaeyama Islands, Japanese culture, and others! I wrote the character musubu (join), which encompasses such a hope, in Japanese. I hope that the dreams of people are joined with those of others, making many people happy.”

August 19 (Sun.):
Met my kind host family

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MEMO

・Travel (Los Angeles International Airport⇒Port Columbus International Airport)
・Meeting with the host family

August 21 (Tue.):
Studied the manufacturing of cars at Honda of America’s plant

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MEMO

・Visit to Honda of America’s plant
・Visit to Honda Heritage Center and lecture by the vice president
・Visit to Transportation Research Center (the largest vehicle testing and demonstration testing site in the United States)


“We visited Honda of America’s plant. We were allowed to go into places that are usually not open to the public and see processes to complete cars. There were many huge machines, and they were like attractions at an amusement park. We also tried UNI-CUB, which runs just by tilting the body, for the first time! Having one of them in a large office must be convenient…”

August 22 (Wed.):
Learned the fun of communicating my own thoughts through Japan-U.S. interaction

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MEMO

・Interaction with students of Japanese language classes at Dublin Scioto High School & Dublin Coffman High School

“Today, we interacted with local high school students. At first, I was nervous about talking to them in English. But I gradually got used to it as the conversation continued, and found it fun to communicate my thoughts at last. I’m so glad that everyone paid close attention to what I was saying!”

August 23 (Thu.):
Said good-bye to my host family with a smile

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MEMO

・Visit to a class at Dublin Coffman High School
・Farewell party with the host family


“The host family that took care of me this time was always kind to me although I couldn’t speak English well. To me, they are my new family in the United States!”

August 27 (Mon.):
The day when I learned dreams will absolutely come true

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MEMO

・Special lecture by racing driver Mr. Takuma Sato “Toward realization of dreams”
・Honda mobility experience 
・Presentation of achievements of The Power of Dreams
・Farewell party


“Listening to the lecture by Mr. Takuma Sato, I learned that dreams will absolutely come true. Therefore, I want to make my dream come true without giving up. I also set another goal today after visiting American Honda Motor. One day, if my dream comes true, I want to buy a Honda car that I saw today with my own money!
Looking back, these two weeks have been like a dream. I thank the friends I met through this program and the people who looked after us in the United States from the bottom of my heart. Thank you!”