Melissa was a Hokkaido JET from 2007-2012. She taught at two junior high schools and five elementary schools as the sole ALT in Akabira. Melissa caught the travel bug early, after visiting Ireland with a family friend while in high school. The experience made her realize the importance of pushing her own mental, cultural, and geographical boundaries to develop a better understanding of the world and herself. Melissa went on to participate in two undergraduate exchange programs in Europe through Linfield College and graduated with a BA in History. After returning from JET, she earned her MA in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
In her current role as Director of Operations at VIA Programs, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, Melissa utilizes her international experience and organizational management expertise to further sustainable development and operations of VIA’s cultural exchange programs in the US and Asia. She calls Monterey home and enjoys working 90% remotely while also having frequent opportunities to travel to east and southeast Asia. As a member of the leadership team, Melissa hopes to enhance JETAANC's engagement and support of the JET and Japan-connected communities in the Bay Area.
Yumie was a CIR for Iwate Prefecture from 2014-2017. Originally, she had planned to return to the US after JET, but instead, she found herself packing her bags and moving to Tokyo, where she worked in the Department of JET Programme Management helping to plan and coordinate PA and CIR-related activities. She spent her last year in Japan working as a web editor and translator at a digital advertising and marketing company before returning to her hometown in 2020.
She can often be found trying out recipes, going out on spontaneous road trips, discovering new books to read, and playing games with friends and family.
Anna Fung was an ALT in Morioka, Iwate from 2011-2014, working at Morioka Third High School. Since returning, she has served as JETAANC's Vice President and now Treasurer, and she loves to be one of the Executive Committee's "ninja" because she likes to take on various jobs and learn new skills.
Anna has volunteered with JETAANC since returning from Japan, including organizing disaster relief fundraising events for the Tohoku region, career development programs, chapter meetings, picnics, and networking events. She loves to travel, go on hikes, play board games with her fellow JETAANC committee members, and eat!
Akiyo was a CIR for Toyama Prefecture from 2011 to 2014. After briefly spending some time back in Oregon, she spent a few years living in New York City, where between working as a coordinator for Japanese TV shows and commercials, she still somehow attended many events with JETAANY and came to realize that the majority of her social life revolved around JET alumni.
Since moving to San Francisco in early 2019, she has been on the organizing committee for COPANI (Pan American Nikkei Convention) 2019, and is currently a regular volunteer for Kimochi, a Japanese American senior center in Japantown. She is the founder and host of the JETAANC Film Appreciation Club.
In her spare time, she enjoys watching and reviewing movies, running, and exploring places near and far.