Hiroshi Toyama, Kadena Town mayor (seated left), U.S. Air Force Col. Thang T. Doan, 18th Mission Support Group commander (seated middle), and Hidekatsu Higa, Kadena Langage Institute dean (seated right), along with the latest members of the KLI internship program and coworkers on Kadena Air Base, Japan, pose for a photo Sept. 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
Hiroshi Toyama, Kadena Town mayor (seated left), U.S. Air Force Col. Thang T. Doan, 18th Mission Support Group commander (seated middle), and Hidekatsu Higa, Kadena Langage Institute dean (seated right), along with the latest members of the KLI internship program and coworkers on Kadena Air Base, Japan, pose for a photo Sept. 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

KLI celebrates successful internship program

by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Sutton
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- After four weeks of internships across base, (number) Kadena Language Institute students, their family members, local community leaders and members of the 18th Wing enjoyed a farewell dinner together Sept. 6, 2019.

The 2019 KLI internship program was a wonderful opportunity for these students to apply the lessons they have learned while at the same time experiencing American culture and interacting with members of KAB.

“On behalf of Team Kadena, I’d like to first thank the students for being a part of this program,” said Col. Thang T. Doan, 18th Mission Support Group commander. “Your contribution to this will be felt for years to come. I’d also like to thank the KLI teachers whose guidance and mentorship have prepared these students for a bright future. Your time and dedication is greatly appreciated.”

During the internship weeks, students had the opportunity to practice their English in professional environments working in customer service areas around base.
“I’m a second year student and worked at the Arts and Crafts building,” said Riamu Yonaha, a KLI student. “This has been a great experience. It’s been busy and hard sometimes but I like it very much.”

The training the students received through this program provides a professional foundation on how to work as a team, collaborate in a bilateral environment, and provide excellent customer service.

“I would like to thank the 18th Wing for their understanding and cooperation to enable the students to experience this Internship on Kadena Air Base,” said Hiroshi Toyama, the mayor of Kadena Town. “KLI celebrated its 21st anniversary in May this year. Since its founding, we have developed classes focusing on the acquisition of practical English, with the aim of developing students who can live an amazing life in the international community. The internship on Kadena Air base has also been implemented from the start. With your great support, 189 students have been sent into society through KLI.”

During the years, the internship has gone from a one week to a four week program.

“This training is a valuable opportunity for KLI students,” said Toyama. “They should be aware of this, and always have respect and gratitude for everyone who took care of them during this time. I hope the students will continue to study hard at KLI taking advantage of their new skills and improving themselves. English is spoken all over the world so make the most of this opportunity and study hard. I also expect you to challenge yourself and build your dreams.”

For the interns, the farewell dinner marked the end of their time on Kadena AB, but the beginning of their international education as part of KLI.

“I hope the students continue to build on their knowledge and get a great deal from their introduction to life in English,” said Hidekatsu Higa, KLI dean.
 The KLI program aims to support each student’s growth through this kind of education program.

“Finally, thank you to KLI Dean Hidekatsu Higa and Hiroshi Toyama, the Kadena Town mayor,” said Doan. “The success of this program is a testament to our long-standing partnership and we look forward to many more years of working together.”

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