2016–2017 Block Platforms

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Block 1 Platforms

Amanda Tsuhako


Who am I?

I’m a first year ALT in Yokohama, Aomori and I’m originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. Despite this being my first winter, I’ve surprisingly adapted to the snow and I’ve come to love skiing! Last spring, I graduated from the University of San Francisco, where I double majored in Biology and Japanese Studies. In the future, I want to be a surgeon and move back to Hawaii where I can help Japanese speaking patients. I love coffee and cats, so I spend my weekends at Starbucks and cat cafes!

Why am I applying?

  • When I came to Japan last August, I was welcomed by amazing JETs who provided support and acted like family in this foreign land. I want to provide that same sense of community to the incoming JETs across all four of the block 1 prefectures.
  • I want to put Yokohama on the map. We have many things to offer like beautiful bright yellow nanohana, gorgeous sunsets, and delicious sea cucumber! Being placed in a small, unknown town, I want to advertise similar towns across Aomori, Akita, Hokkaido, and Iwate prefectures.

What can I bring?

  • In college, I was the Japan Club Vice President for 2 years. My duties included: emailing the members on a weekly basis, planning and running meetings and events, updating the Facebook page, and acting as member liaison.
  • I began studying Japanese in my first year in middle school, making this the 11th year of my Japanese studies. I still have a long way to go, but I feel comfortable communicating in Japanese.
  • “Genki-ness.” In social situations, you’ll always find me making my way into conversations, with random dances, hand motions, and a dumb smile on my face.

Ashleigh Mooney


Hi everyone! My name is Ashleigh Mooney, I’m a 4th year ALT in Aomori and I’m excited to soon enter into my unicorn year!

A little about me, I’m from Texas so I was super prepared for the winter wonderland of Aomori! There is absolutely no way my 80 year old neighbor took pity on me my first year and taught me the correct way to shovel snow. I graduated with a degree in psychology and plan on getting my PhD after JET.

One of the best things about Aomori, and Japan in general, are the wonderful people who make life here exciting. Whenever I had questions, there was always someone to lend a hand or an ear. So many body parts!

Not only do I want to give back some of the advice and help I’ve received, I want to make sure your opinions and ideas are heard by the JET program and CLAIR. I will even invest in a megaphone to make sure all the people in Tokyo hear me.

For two years I have volunteered as a Regional Representative in Aomori and will continue to represent my region in my 5th year. RR team duties include welcoming incoming JETs and creating and presenting at Aomori Orientation and the Skills and Development Conference each year. I’ve also helped create the Tachinebuta meetup in my area to watch our famous summer festival and we also throw a welcome event for the newbies to mingle with the more seasoned JETs! It’s been very rewarding to help new JETs get settled into their communities and give them the skills and tools needed to thrive in Japan.

I really enjoy working as an RR because it’s given me the challenge to grow as a leader and gain experience as a presenter. The presentation I am most proud of was about Culture Fatigue and Stress Management, it was fantastic to blend my background in psychology with my life on JET and talk about some of the more serious issues ALTs can face.

I’ve also volunteered for the AJET PSG hotline for a year; it was an incredible experience that gave me a different avenue for helping others. I gained valuable experience in listening and supporting people, and connecting them to any resources they needed!

Other various skills include public speaking, meeting deadlines, creating and promoting events, being self-motivated, giving passionate speeches to lead my countrymen into battle, and listing things.

I hope you will vote for me to be your Block 1 Representative! I’m looking forward to representing you at the national level, making sure your thoughts have an impact on JET. I will do my best to support you and keep you up­to­date and informed of events happening in our block and the country.

Block 2 Platforms

Merran Eby


Hello there, Block 2! I’m Merran Eby, a fourth-year ALT from coastal Fukushima. As a candidate for your representative to the national AJET council, I can bring a great mix of experience, enthusiasm, and professionalism to the table.

Why Me?

  • I have spent two years on Fukushima’s AJET council, including one as president. Leading FuJET gave me the fantastic opportunity to organize events on every scale for my fellow JETS, consolidate and distribute information for newcomers, and connect people with local volunteer efforts.
  • My experience on JET and in university residence life mean that I am highly skilled in community building, teamwork, and time management, and am also able to get things done effectively and efficiently on my own.
  • After nearly four years, I’m intimately acquainted with many of the issues relevant to JET participants, since your issues are mine as well.

What Can I Do For You?

  • Bring your concerns to the table at the national level, making sure that your voice is heard and your ideas contribute to the long-term betterment of the programme
  • Connect the Block 2 community through the creation of great opportunities for you to meet other JETs, as well as the promotion of events from around both Block 2 and Japan
  • Be your faithful disseminator of news related to AJET’s current activities and projects

I’ve been involved in AJET since even before I arrived in August 2012, and am deeply committed to the work they do for JETs across the country. I also know that my skills are more than well-suited to making a meaningful contribution to that work on your behalf. I would love nothing more than to represent Fukushima, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Niigata for the coming year. Thanks for considering me as your 2016-2017 block rep!

Rachel Stivers-Bender


Hello, from Japan’s Snow Country! My name is Rachel Stivers-Bender and a second year ALT living it up in Niigata. The JET Program has not only been a life changing event but also a wonderful adventure. On this adventure, I have met so many creative individuals, discovered a second home, fostered friendships, and developed my own skills and abilities. I am grateful for that and want to give back by becoming the Block 2 Representative for 2016-2017.

Why me? Besides the fact that I am well organized, enthusiastic, and a go getter, I am also a people person who is not afraid of a challenge. In the past, I volunteered with international organizations like World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts running leadership and skills development functions with participants from all over the globe. I have helped run my family restaurant which requires good communication skills, planning, and problem solving. I have been a presenter at prefectural conferences and orientation meetings besides being a resident assistant for my region in Niigata. In my spare time, I act as an assistant manager for my base school’s baseball team. With strong work values, I also bring a love of life and humor with me wherever I go that seeps into my work. I want to have a more active role in AJET in which I can help build relations and give a voice to concerns in my block. So, please vote for me as 2016-2017 Block 2 Representative!

Block 3 Platforms

Ashley Fox


My name is Ashley Fox. I am a 1st year ALT in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture. JET has provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity that could not have been experienced to the fullest without the support of my prefectural AJET team, so I would like to be able to reach out and improve the experiences of my block as best as I can.

What Can I Do For You?

  • Coordinate at the national, regional, and prefectural level to ensure the smoothest communication possible.
  • Represent the wishes, ideas, and concerns of my block with National AJET to ensure that every JET is able to have a voice within their local and greater community.
  • Inform the Block community of all upcoming events to promote greater social ties and networking within the prefecture.


  • Active Nagano Prefectural AJET council member.
  • Skilled in the creation and organization of large and small scale events.
  • Extensive professional experience and training in communication.
  • Has workshop and practical experience in mediation and communication.
  • Is approachable, ambitious, and professional.

My Promise

By electing me as your Block 3 Representative, I promise that I will do everything that I can to earnestly represent your ideas and opinions to the National AJET board and create change according to the will of the community.

Events I Have Helped Plan In Japan

  • Nagano AJET Thanksgiving
  • Nagano AJET Geisha Night
  • Nagano AJET Hanami (ongoing)

Block 4 Platforms

Kristie Fletcher


My name is Kristie Fletcher, a second year JET placed in the Tokyo prefecture, and I will be applying for the Block 4 Representative position. Since coming to Japan, I have been an active member in my local community and also the JET community. Taking part in local events, sports clubs and festivals has helped me create a life here in Tokyo and being part of a large group of JETs has made organization a developed skill of mine. I am an active, enthusiastic and outgoing person who loves sports and travelling. My strengths include great time management, effective planner, decisive and being proactive. I would like to bring these qualities to the AJET council and try and support JETs living in Block 4.

The reason I am applying for this position is to bridge the gap between JETs and the National AJET council and make sure their voices are heard and their opinions are shared. I hope to give old and new JETs the support they need while living and prospering in Japan and create a community within the prefectures. Most importantly, I want JETs to communicate with each other and share their experience, ideas, expertise and make sure they enjoy their experience here on JET.

The experiences I have that will allow me to carry out this position include;

  • Working in the central hub of Japan, Tokyo.
  • Having the experience of being a Jet in a global ten school for nearly two years.
  • Being part of the social planning in the Tokyo Jet committee.
  • Having experience in founding and acting as treasurer the Biomedical Sciences Society at my University back in England
  • Taking part in the Tokyo JET orientation for new JETs as a panelist.
  • Being a generally positive, active and enthusiastic person
  • Being professional and carrying out tasks to the best of my ability.

If you elect me, I hope to work with AJET to continue to provide JETs in Block 4 with the information they need. I want to voice the opinions of JETs from all prefectures, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka, in Block four. I want to continue to build relationships between the prefectures all over Japan by providing opportunities to take part in activities, social groups and adventures. I am extremely passionate about creating a community here in Japan and hope you consider me for this position.

Thank you.

Oliver Pimley


I am a second year ALT in Tokyo, and am grateful for the opportunity JET has given me. As the Block 4 Representative, I want to help strengthen the program by providing structure and accessible help for current and incoming JETs.

It is a thrill to be the first JET at my private high school, which has embraced the JET program, and which has involved me in everything from designing lesson plans and teaching conversational English to 11th and 12th graders, to translating English and German documents, to tutoring English speech contestants, to coaching varsity basketball. As a Block 4 representative, I hope to work on plans and policies that ensure that every placement benefits from such a supportive school and culturally rich experience.

The initial arrival and settling into Japan was very exciting, but at times overwhelming, and for some JETs even frightening. As a Block 4 representative, I hope to work on ways to ease the anxieties of new JETs, and help them to quickly and easily acclimate to their new home.

Representation for Block 4

  • Inform Block 4 regularly on JET issues, activities and events
  • Represent Block 4’s ideas, concerns and requests at the national level, thereby enriching the JET experience for everyone
  • Advocate for implementation of Block 4’s specific plans and policies that would benefit the entire JET network


  • Excellent teaching skills: BA with honors in Education, I taught ESL and History
  • Excellent meeting and administrative skills: As an RA, Finance VP at Hillel, and President of the Multicultural Club in college, I set agendas, ran meetings, planned and executed annual plans and events
  • Excellent communication skills: as an intern in the New Jersey Governor’s Office, I diplomatically responded to and resolved constituent issues
  • Global Perspective: Traveled on 5 continents, and as an intern at AJC in Washington, D.C., worked with embassies and exchange programs
  • Involved in Tokyo Community: volunteer for Hands on Tokyo as a basketball coach; volunteer for Tokyo English Lifeline (TELL); active in Chabad of Tokyo
  • Enthusiastic: I give my best effort to everything I do, and want to work for you!

Block 5 Platforms

Domhnall Mc Farline


My name is Domhnall Mc Farline and as well as owning a hard to read, but easy to pronounce name, I am a third year ALT in Toyama City. I have had an amazing adventure as JET so far, eaten things I’d never heard of, seen sights that took my voice and shared conversations with people who’ve both inspired me and made me laugh. These bonds and memories have made every re-contracting signing easy, despite what I tell my parents.

I believe in the importance of communities and in having a wide range of circles from which to choose. I want to strengthen the bonds between these five prefectures and give you more chances to visit new places, do those things you’ve exclaimed at in other people’s photos, make connections, and have the craic (Irish for fun) with new friends.

For the past two years I’ve served as Toyama’s AJET Prefectural Representative, and working with my team we’ve managed to increase the range of events that we offer encompassing both silly and serious. I also organized, acquired funding for and helped produce a dramatic (pun intended) and successful return of the Toyama Charity Show. After five years in the doldrums, our event brought a wide array of writing, crafting and acting talent together, both in JET and the larger Toyama community.

I am energetic, optimistic and reliable and if I am lucky enough to get this position I will work hard to make your voice heard in the Council and to hopefully hear your voice in person. I will also work with the five AJET Prefectural Committees to try and provide you with the opportunities to make the most of your time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please consider me for your vote.



Block 6 Platforms

Carolina Swift


My name is Carolina Swift, I am a 2nd year ALT in Shiga Prefecture, and I want to be your next Block 6 AJET Representative.

As the Block 6 Rep, I will be in charge of bringing your ideas to the National AJET Council and making sure that Block 6 has its voice heard. I will continue important Block 6 traditions while working with the Block leaders to create new events that will enrich your time here on JET. It will be my job to make sure all 3 prefectures can communicate effectively and efficiently to provide the best service to you.

I have plenty of leadership experience, which I large gained throughout University, as I was the president of 4 distinct clubs. For each club, I created engaging, large scale events, managed weekly meetings, worked with people from many different backgrounds, and revitalized groups that might have otherwise died out.

This year I have served AJET as the Shiga Prefectural Representative, and as such, I have gained experience and knowledge that will help me in serving you. Both in Shiga and in Block 6, I have worked with my team to create successful events including Halloween parties and Hanami. My biggest challenge so far has been planning this year’s annual Biwa Boat Ball. Though the event will take place in May, I know it will be extraordinary as we are hosting 200 guests from 5 different prefectures. Organizing events like this is no easy task, but I guarantee that I am up for the job.

The position of Block 6 Representative is a challenge that requires a lot of time and effort, but with my dedication I know that our Block will continue to thrive. So please vote for me, Carolina Swift, to be your Block 6 AJET Representative.

Block 7 Platforms

Jessie Laufer


Hello JETs! My name is Jessie Laufer and I’m currently a 2nd year ALT in beautiful Nara Prefecture. Like many smaller cities and towns in Japan, my town has a wonderfully tight community and I’ve been lucky enough to be placed in a prefecture that has a very close JET community as well. I want to spread that sense of community to our Block as a whole and make us into the best Block we can possibly be!

As your Block Representative, I want to make our prefectures more connected with stronger organization and communication. I want to provide more opportunities for our JETs to get to know our region, get to know each other, and connect with our local communities. Through various block events I aim to encourage all of our JETs to actively engage with everything the Kansai region has to offer.

My experiences on Nara AJET council and as Nara Touch Rugby co-Captain have given me the skills to bring our communities together and to ensure that your interests are represented at the national level. As Scholarship Chair, I helped our council organize social events and fundraisers that both brought our JET community together and provided us with a way to help our students study abroad. This year we raised our scholarship goals by 50,000 yen and were able to award two 100,000 yen scholarships to ambitious Nara senior high school students. As Touch Rugby co-Captain I help our JETs find a healthy exercise outlet that also connects us with our local community. These positions have not just given me the organizational skills required to be an effective Block Representative, but also the understanding that our best accomplishments are through good teamwork and communication. My experiences in these positions will undoubtedly help me become a great Block Representative.

Block 8 Platforms

Amon Bradshaw


Hi, I’m Amon a 2nd year JET living in Otoyo­cho, Kochi (if you’ve gone rafting before you’ve probably been here). Before I came to Japan my intention was to stay for a year, however once I arrived I quickly changed my mind. I love the beautiful Yoshinogawa and the kind people that live here. I love Kochi’s friendly vibe and the mountains of Shikoku.

Living right in the middle of Shikoku (15minutes from Tokushima and 25minutes from Ehime, in a town visited by a lot of JETs for rafting) I’ve often thought about how I’d like to meet more JETs from other prefectures. When we’re placed, we meet up with our prefectural buddies, hang out with them on the weekend and occasionally (maybe) meet some people from other prefectures. It’s as if there’s some kind of “magical” force – field stopping us from crossing over. But, like rain falling on the Andes, it’s probably more because that’s what is easier.

If elected to the role of Block Rep I want to make it easier for JETs to cross borders by sharing information about and creating events. I want to work with prefectural AJET groups and individuals to achieve this. We have a lot of great events already like the Shikoku Field day, the Shimanami Kaido ride, Yosakoi and the Kagawa Charity Ball but I feel we can communicate better. One of my goals is to encourage each prefecture to designate one “Open” event where we welcome JETs from other prefectures.

To the role I bring experience on the 2015-­16 Council as Director of Volunteering along with experience planning events for the Shikoku Hiking and Adventure Group. I hope to lead by example in the coming year by getting out there, being genki, and meeting many of you! Thanks for reading.

Block 9 Platforms

Preston Backer


Generic salutations reader! My name is Preston Backer. I am a 3rd year JET in Fukyama, Hiroshima, and I want to be your block 9 leader.Now, let’s get down to what you all want to know. Who the junk am I? Why the bajeebles do I want the position?What the stuff can I do for you? These questions and more will be answered if you continue to read. And by “read”, I mean in the general sense as well as reading this platform of mine. Support your local library.

Now, who would you be voting for if you voted for me? I shall give you only the most important details. I can speak somewhere between N3 and N2 Japanese, and am very slowly trying to claw my way to knowing more. Oh man, it’s a rough road. For fun, my wife and I like to hold dance parties every few months with themes. The last one was 90’s themed. It was pretty magical. Also, I can use chopsticks super well according to my colleges, so that’s covered.Finally, I have something that I have been told totally makes up for my lack of experience in the block leader position: pure unadulterated gumption.

In regards to why I want the position, there are a few reasons. One, it seems like fun on the bun. Two, I was told that there is a free chocolate fountain at every meeting for the national AJET council, and I love me some chocolate fountain deliciousness. Three, I get to write this crazy drivel for fun and it counts as work! Four, this is a decent opportunity to get even more people together for even more fun dance/miscellaneousparties, which I love more than free chocolate fountains. Six, my terrible counting skills would probably not affect the job. And last, but definitely not least, I want to be in a position where I can do something more than say, “I’m sorry” or “Hope things get better for you” when friends or acquaintances tell me they are having a rough time.

For the finale of this little writing adventure, I wanted to talk a little more seriously about what I think I can do for you, but honestly, I have no idea. My main goal is make our existence in Japan, however long or short, the least unfortunate possible. To me, that means having engaging local gatherings where people can laugh and have fun. It means trying to understand and alleviate individual problems by continually updating reasonable general guidelines for most situations. To what extent these things are possible, I am not sure. I am sure, however, that I am passionate about these things and legitimately like doing them. If this is what you want in a block leader, please vote for me!

Block 10 Platforms

Harriett Bougher

Harriett 015-2.JPG

My name is Harriett Bougher and I am a first year ALT in Saga Prefecture. Saga Prefecture has one of the smallest JET communities in Japan which has allowed me to play an active role within the JET community in spite of being a new comer. It has also led me to branch out and connect with other members of the greater Northern Kyushu Block 10 region.

The Block 10 JET community have been incredibly welcoming and have made me feel valued and an important part of the diverse and hardworking JET community. I want to become Block 10 Representative to strengthen the ties within the community and allow others within my Block to feel as valued as I have felt.

As a Tourism and Events Management graduate, I regularly volunteered at various events during my University days. Through this I have gained the knowledge and experience of connecting both small and large communities through planned events. Additionally, my work as a children’s recreational sports program leader and children’s swimming instructor prior to the JET Program required great initiative, patience, time management and leadership skills that are essential skills for the position of Block 10 Representative.

I have extensively travelled throughout Japan and have experienced living in Japan prior to JET. Moreover, I have continually assisted and provided sound travel and living advice for many members of the Saga community. I want to extend this assistance to other members within the Block 10 community.

I have been recognized for my activeness and leadership within the Saga community by being appointed Saga AJET Representative for 2016-2017. I would be thrilled at the opportunity to also represent JETs of Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Oita. If elected as Block 10 Representative, I will fully dedicate myself to further connecting all four prefectures and catering as much as I can for the interests of the Block 10 community.

So, please vote for me as your Representative of the down-right amazing Block 10!

Block 11 Platforms

CJ Fischer


Haisai! My name is CJ Fischer and I am a first year ALT in Nakijin, Okinawa. During this huge transition I have been warmly welcomed by my local JET community. Through their support, encouragement, and friendship the growing pains of adjusting to work and life in Japan were greatly lightened. As AJET representative, I would work to offer the same environment to all of Block 11.

While representing Block 11, I will listen to your concerns and give you a voice on the National AJET council. As a strong proponent of self care, I will work to give each of you the resources necessary to face the unique challenges of our job. I will bridge the prefectures of our spread out block and keep us connected to our national JET community. I also hope to spark new friendships by creating opportunities to meet and for each of us to share what makes our prefectures special.

I learned the skills necessary to to achieve this goal as an undergraduate student serving as coordinator for my university’s tour guide office. In this role, I facilitated discussion between the 100 student guides and 12 professional staff members. While listening to a variety of perspectives I worked with my peers to bring their ideas to fruition, and keep them updated on the many changes our campus underwent. While geographically close, I built bridges across expanses between majors, backgrounds, and roles within our organization.

The JET program gives us all an opportunity to make an impact in the communities we are working in as well as in our own lives. As your representative, nothing would make me happier than to give you the resources necessary to increase that impact and ensure you get the most out of your JET experience.

Josephine Chong

CIR Representative Platforms

Zachary Krause


My name is Zachary Krause. I am 3rd year CIR in Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture. I am the current Project Manager of AJET and next year I would like to continue supporting the JET community as the AJET CIR Representative.

My objective as CIR Representative is to act as a medium to exchange opinions and ideas from the CIR community at National AJET.

What Can I Do For You?

  • First and foremost I will represent you at the national level. Offering time to discuss individual opinions so that we may collectively enact positive changes in the AJET community and the JET Programme.
  • Through the use of the “JET Programme CIRs” Facebook page, I want to better connect CIRs to AJET and finds ways AJET can better support the CIR community.


Through my work as a CIR and through my experiences as a volunteer, I have worked on a variety of projects that I hope will help me relate to the diversity of work that my fellow AJET CIR’s are responsible for

  • Translation of tourism materials, safety guides, webpages, informative booklets, unofficial legal documents
  • Interpretation for delegation visits ranging from only a few to up to forty individuals
  • Event coordination including holiday events, cooking classes, and cultural exchanges
  • Manage the “Kamogawa Communicator,” a monthly newsletter focused on local news
  • Experience in website management including city webpage and SNS
  • Act as an intermediate between Girl Scout as well as school pen­pal exchanges, sister city international relations associations, and student exchanges
  • Assisted in the running of a bi­weekly advanced English discussion group
  • Volunteering for English storybook reading at the local library
  • Volunteering at active learning focused Gakuwarinet International English Camp
  • Experiences in volunteer tour coordination with Minnesota based NPO STLF

My Promise:

By electing me as your AJET CIR representative I can offer you my time and dedication so that we may continue to positively influence JET Programme in a way that will enable the JET community to progress now and in the future.






  • 何よりも皆様の意見や考え、悩みなどを全国のレベルで表します。皆様とのコミュニケーケンを通じて、AJETしかもJET Programmeにおける好ましい変化を支援します。
  • JET Programme CIRs」のFacebookページを通して、国際交流員とAJETとのつながりを強めて、国際交流員の皆様をより良い支援するためのもっといい方法を見いだしたいです。



  • 観光資料や防災ガイド、ホームページ、パンフレット、非公認法律関係書類などの翻訳経験
  • 1名から40名までの市民訪問団や観光グループのための通訳経験
  • 祝日や料理教室、交流会などのイベント開催する経験
  • Kamogawa Communicator」という月刊誌を発行する経験
  • 市のウェブサイト(英語版)や国際交流協会SNSなどの管理する経験
  • ガール・スカウト団体の文通事業、そして小学校の文通事業の中間体としての経験
  • 2週間に一度の上級英会話グループを実施する経験
  • 地元の図書館で英語の絵本の読み聞かせを実施する経験
  • 「Gakuwarinet International English Camp」という国際英語キャンプでのボランティアとして能動的学習を支援した経験
  • STLFというNPOでボランティア・ツアーの行事を計画する経験


JETの皆様のために頑張る覚悟があります。私を選んでいただければ、AJETそしてJET Programmeに良い影響を与えるように皆様の意見や考えをよく聞いて務めさせていただきます。