September 2021 Issue
At LTSC, we believe in empowering our community by providing resources and educational opportunities for community members. Contributions from the greater Little Tokyo community as well as our donors and volunteers make it possible to carry out our mission.
New Mi CASA Internship Program Aims to Develop Next Generation of Community Leaders
For over 20 years, LTSC’s Resident Services department has provided after-school programming for youth living in LTSC’s affordable housing buildings. Thanks to a grant from the California Community Foundation, the resident services team was able to expand the program and pilot a new youth leadership program for our high school students.
“The Youth Leadership Pipeline Internship program is an opportunity to empower our youth to become strong, vocal, and active members of their community,” explained Nancy Alcaraz, Director of Resident Services at LTSC. “We support our youth interns in becoming compassionate leaders through positive engagement that leads to increased self-efficacy and the development of skills needed to succeed in adulthood.”
The 10 month program will require interns to put in a minimum of 5 hours each week, with duties ranging from developing and implementing curricula for youth in LTSC’s Mi CASA program, partnering with local organizations to produce workshops/activities, and providing other administrative support as needed. The interns will also receive a stipend each month, as well as leadership training through the NeighborWorks Training Institute.
Most importantly, the interns will serve as role models for youth in the community. “We work to show them the leader that’s already within them and further develop the skills needed for them to be courageous, bold leaders,” said Jackie Waight, Youth Service Coordinator at LTSC. “The internship program supports LTSC youth to rise against the challenges they face by empowering them through skill development, encouraging curiosity, connecting with their community, and leading with their values.”
LTSC strives to empower the next generation of leaders to nurture their physical, emotional, and mental health, and be active members in society who create positive change in their community.
Meet May Zeng, a LTSC small business volunteer who helped Far Bar and Sake Dojo with their marketing efforts during the pandemic. Along with her teammate, Mick Trinidad, the two worked on both print and digital campaigns to showcase the business’ stories. Thanks to volunteers like May, Little Tokyo small business owners were able to adapt and grow their online presence during the pandemic.
How long have you been volunteering with Far Bar & Sake Dojo? What inspired you to get involved?
I started volunteering in May 2020. I heard about the LTSC volunteering program through my good friend, Kathy Pham, who was volunteering with Suehiro. I was laid off from my marketing job at a film studio in March 2020 and wanted to use my skills to help the community while also getting more hands-on experience. I have been active with East West Players over the years, and have been to many a closing party at Far Bar (in fact, the last packed bar I went to before the shutdown was Far Bar, after the first and only preview of EWP’s Assassins before the production had to close), so it was a business that I was both familiar with and a fan of.
How have you been helping Far Bar & Sake Dojo? What has your experience been like working with them?
I’ve learned a lot about the community from working with LTSC and Don Tahara (the Sake Dojo & Far Bar owner). My volunteering partner Mick Trinidad comes from a different marketing background than me, so I also learned a lot from working with him, as well as from the volunteers from the other businesses. I started with a Father’s Day campaign on social and print featuring Don and Jill and their real-life story of working at the restaurants as a father-daughter duo, and then helped with the 2020 Nisei Week fundraiser digital campaign that highlighted the legacy businesses’ history.
What are some highlights from your time as a volunteer with Far Bar & Sake Dojo? What keeps you coming back?
I’m always learning something new! Either something really cool and smart about the food and drink business from Don, Jill, Jesse (the bar manager at Far Bar) and Andrea of Edibol, who’s been partnering with Sake Dojo, or something touching about the interconnections of all the Little Tokyo community members, or something new and creative about the current social media/marketing landscape from the other volunteers.
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering with LTSC?
There are a lot of different ways to get involved!
A Special Thank You to the Wells Fargo Foundation
LTSC would like to thank the Wells Fargo Foundation for supporting our efforts to build affordable housing in Los Angeles. We have over 600 units in our housing pipeline that will provide families, seniors and veterans new affordable housing with services and amenities that will help them thrive. Last year the Wells Fargo Foundation supported our COVID-19 relief efforts and this year is helping us get back to work on our core mission of providing housing to those in need in LA. Thank you Wells Fargo Foundation for your continuing support.
LTSC Hosts Voter Education Workshop for Seniors
Navigating voter information can be a tricky process for everybody, especially those who don’t primarily speak English. LTSC’s social services department hosts voter education workshops for seniors at Little Tokyo Towers every election, with materials in multiple languages. Topics covered include: key points of major propositions, candidate platforms and updates to voting systems (like new voting kiosks, ballot drop off boxes, etc). Since the recent gubernatorial recall election was uncommon and was accompanied by an unfamiliar ballot, it was important to make sure the seniors knew what they were voting for and how to correctly cast their votes. The recall election workshop was led by Yasue Katuragi, a community organizer at LTSC, and was conducted in English, Japanese and Korean. By offering accessible voter education, LTSC empowers seniors to fulfill their civic duty.
LTSC Youth Supported by Changing the Community Together and the YOLO Ladies
As kids head back to school, we’d like to say a BIG thank you to two groups that have continuously supported LTSC’s youth with donations of back to school supplies.
Changing the Community Together (CCT), a youth basketball group, has supported LTSC since 2014. They pivoted from their traditional pre-pandemic basketball clinic and school supply drive to instead donate over 2,000 canned goods to LTSC’s food pantry along with backpacks for our youth.
Another group that continues to support LTSC’s youth are the ‘YOLO Ladies’ – a Zumba group from nearby Higashi Honganji Temple. These women have supported LTSC for the past 4 years, donating school supplies and backpacks to LTSC youth in need. They’ve also donated holiday gifts for the teens and seniors in our buildings, who are often overlooked by toy drives.
Thank you to CCT and the YOLO Ladies for your generous and continued support. You truly make a difference in the lives of our residents!
Third Doses and Booster Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Available to Select Groups
LA County is now giving third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to people who qualify due to their serious illness. If you qualify, you can get the third dose at least 28 days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
LA County is now offering booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine to people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and are either:
What to Know:
This month, LTSC’s Executive Director, Erich Nakano, spoke on Build Up California’s panel, ‘Developers Roundtable: Integrating Child Care into Housing and Other Community Facilities’. Erich offered insight into LTSC’s integrated child care programs offered at our buildings.
The Community Action Team (a team of residents representing LTSC buildings in Little Tokyo) organized and hosted their first event, ‘Summertime in Little Tokyo’. They invited neighbors for a night of food, fun and games as they celebrated the resident artists who helped create the new window art displayed at Budokan.
Daimaru Now Leasing
Daimaru is now leasing rooms! Located on First St. in the heart of Little Tokyo, across the street from the Japanese Village Plaza, Daimaru is walking distance from restaurants, nightlife, public transportation and more. For more information, click here to visit the Daimaru website!
Basketball Leagues at Terasaki Budokan
Basketball leagues at Terasaki Budokan will be starting up next month! Register your team by October 12 to participate in the upcoming Fall ’21 Season. The 8 week season will run from October 17 to December 19. Click here for more info and register today!
J-Town Taiko Club at Terasaki Budokan
Budokan is excited to announce a new program – taiko drumming! This club is for all skill levels and ages. The J-Town Taiko Club will practice once weekly and perform twice annually. Drums and equipment are provided and classes will be facilitated by Maceo Hernandez and Walter Nishinaka. Class spots for this month have sold out, but check the Terasaki Budokan website for updates!
Feel good about making a charitable gift this year! As this year comes to a close, LTSC partnered with Akemi Kondo Dalvi (CPA/PFS, CFP®) of Kondo Wealth Advisors to put together a FREE financial education workshop to help donors get the most out of their charitable giving. Join us on Zoom on Wednesday, October 6th, from 10AM to 11AM to learn how your charitable gift can benefit both you and your community! This webinar is FREE and will cover tax benefits for taxpayers of ALL giving levels.
Charitable giving can fulfill your philanthropic commitments and provide you tax savings at the same time!
Join us for our second annual Terasaki Budokan Golf Tournament. Proceeds from this event will go towards Terasaki Budokan. Our mission is to provide a facility in Downtown Los Angeles for youth, families, and seniors that offers sports, community activities and opportunities to connect visitors to Japanese American culture and to a vibrant, sustainable Little Tokyo.
Deadline to Sign Up: October 31, 2021
*If for any reason, you are unable to attend or the tournament is cancelled, you will receive your full refund.
For more articles and news stories featuring LTSC, visit the “In the News” section of our website.
Thank you to all of our wonderful donors and supporters.
Our work isn’t possible without you!
Maximize your impact with a recurring monthly gift! No matter the size, your gift creates positive change in the lives of our clients and in our community. Monthly giving lets LTSC flexibly address the most pressing needs first, whether it’s mental health support for teens, food security for seniors, or rental assistance for families. Your support is critical to our success!
Here are some examples of how your gift can uplift those in need:
AAPI SoCal, Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe Fundraiser
Jim and Elena Azama
The Boeing Company
Deborah Ching and Mark Mayeda
Consulate General of Japan
Samantha de Castro
Jeffrey and Lorraine Dohzen
Eagle, Globerman and Kodama Foundation
Bruce Iwasaki and Evelyn Yoshimura
Dick and Pauline Kaku
Minao and Meera Kamegai
Albert Kwong and Carol Takamatsu-Kwong
Nicole Lopez and Ryan Connolly
Gary and June Masada
Charlotte and Vince Matsudaira
Bob and Teresa Matsushima
Microsoft Rewards / Give with Bing
Sandie and Dean Mochinaga
Terrie Monaghan and Brian Coleman
MUFG Union Bank
Mike Murase and June Hibino
Tak and Grace Murase
Stacy Nii-Eastly and John Eastly
John Okita and Michiko Yamamoto
Hea Kyung Pae
PayPal Giving Fund
Margaret and Ken Shimada
Bruce and Diane Shimano
Grant Sunoo and Emily Mayeda
Kelly and Rintaro Takasu
Eddie and Karen Takata
Roy and Terry Tekawa
Terasaki Nibei Foundation
Carole and Howard Tsujimura
Walt Disney Company
Henry and Carolyn Watanabe
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Lesley and Russell Wong
Ken and Sandy Yamashiro
Michael and Lilly Yanagita
Robert and Yukiko Yokoyama
Julie and Terry Yoneda
Heather Blais-Pickering’s Facebook Birthday Fundraiser
Jessica Chang’s Facebook Birthday Fundraiser
In Honor of LTSC Staff
In Honor of Dr. Mitch Maki and the Staff of Go For Broke National Education Center
Yoshio C. Nakamura
In Memory of Toki Hirai
In Memory of Hiroshi E. Hishiki
In Memory of William Ishibashi
In Memory of Robert Kikkawa
In Memory of Henry Minami
In Memory of S. Stephen & Sally Nakashima
In Memory of Judy Ota
In Memory of Jeannette Kyoko Sanderson
Emily and Dan Weaver
In Memory of Kiyoshi and Chieko Shimokaji
In Memory of Nicholas Song
Carolyn and Mak Okuno
In Memory of Fred Speciale
Akemi Arakaki and Takao Suzuki
Tamotsu Tom Ito
Ron K Kato
Kenyon Mayeda and I-Wen Lai
Jason and Rachelle Samson
Marsha and Gary Watanabe
Brett and Susan Yoshimura
Jayne and Gideon Young Family
Terasaki Budokan Memorial Gifts
In Memory of Robert Osami Kikkawa
Judith Ogura Fujimoto and Gilbert Fujimoto
In Memory of Dean Matsubayashi
In Memory of Sueko Nagata Okeya
Rob and Peggy Yamamoto
Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M)
Anita and Fred Alamshaw
Alan and Sandra Kosaka
Randy and Staci Momii