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The JETAA Chicago Leadership is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone in our community. To learn more review our Community Conduct & Agreements.

We would like to welcome Claudia C. Gonzalez to the 2023-2024 JETAA Chicago Board as our Activities Lead! Take a look below at Claudia's officer profile to learn about ella's motivations, values and goals.


Our Activities Lead, Claudia C. Gonzalez (Ella), was an ALT in Toyama Prefecture, 2021-2023.



Tell us more about your JET experience.


I had a great experience in Japan. More than I can have ever imagined. I not only got a wonderful cultural experience, but I fully embraced myself in learning Kyudo, Koto, Kimono wearing, and visiting temples and shrines. The best thing is making connections with the people especially my Oba-chans.




When did you join/how long have you been on the JETAA Board? What positions have you held?


Activities Lead 2023



What inspired you to step up as a leader and join the JETAA Chicago Board?


I want to be able to bridge connections with JETAA and the community. Hopefully inspiring future JETS in the mix.



Describe your officer duties and what you are looking forward to in regard to your responsibilities.


As the Activities Lead, I want to make many type of meaningful connections. Such as catching up with Alumni, connecting current JETS who are abroad, let's do a fundraiser, volunteer, and honestly the possibilities are endless.



What could be a healthy and/or needed culture add to JETAA Chicago?


I did a postcard exchange with a school in Chicago who were learning Japanese and connected them with Japanese students learning English. I recently found out it is one of the very few charter schools who do this in the city. I also found out about their Japanese festival, so as the Activities Lead I want to connect them with JETS to share their experience and hopefully do a joint event. I think it's important to build connections with the younger community so that they can feel motivated to visit Japan.



What is one goal you would like to accomplish as an officer of JETAA Chicago, or something that you are looking forward to being a part of?


When I was in Japan I worked as the AJET Charity, creating events while also helping a cause.



For you, what sparks joy?

- Hot Cheetos

- My Family and Friends

- Being a proud Mexican

- Connecting people to their niche

- Sleeping



What is your favorite Japanese "thing" near where you live now (and/or in the Midwest)?


Going to the Art Institute and seeing Japanese art. The Pheonix Garden during the spring to see the Cherry Blossoms, and Mitsuwa when I'm craving Japanese food and stuff.



Connect with Claudia via LinkedIn!



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Although she's been a part of the JETAA Chicago team for a long time, we would like to formally introduce our Wisconsin Subchapter Representative, Adrianna Cruz! She's been doing an excellent job keeping our WI Subchapter engaged by hosting quarterly meetings, JETogethers and more. Take a look below at Adrianna's officer profile to learn about her motivations, values and goals.


Our Wisconsin Subchapter Representative, Adrianna Cruz (she/her), was an ALT in Kyoto Prefecture from 2009-2014.


Tell us more about your JET experience.


I spent 5 exciting years living in Fukuchiyama-shi in northern Kyoto. I taught as an ALT in two High Schools and one special needs school. Since I lived in the countryside, I was able to connect with many of the locals to learn and experience the language and culture. Many of my best memories happened in Japan on the JET Program, and I am grateful to have made so many amazing friends there.



When did you join/how long have you been on the JETAA Board? What positions have you held?


WI Subchapter Representative since 2019



What inspired you to step up as a leader and join the JETAA Chicago Board?


I always enjoyed attending the Wisconsin meetings. I could reminisce about Japan and it was fun to travel to other cities around the state and meet up with others to do something new. I hope our subchapter can stay strong and active, so when Joette asked if I could start planning some meetings, of course I said yes.



Describe your officer duties and what you are looking forward to in regard to your responsibilities.


Our subchapter is fairly small, but I enjoy planning the quarterly meetings, the activities at Anime Milwaukee, and other JETogethers. When I can, traveling down to Chicago for events is always fun, as well.


What is one goal you would like to accomplish as an officer of JETAA Chicago, or something that you are looking forward to being a part of?


I have enjoyed connecting with other JETs and organizing ways for us all to be involved in Wisconsin post-JET. Getting connected for events like Japan Fest and Anime Milwaukee panels has been rewarding.



For you, what sparks joy?


- Japanese Food

- Good music

- Travel

- Reading

- Learning languages



What is your favorite Japanese "thing" near where you live now (and/or in the Midwest)?


While Mitsuwa is in Illinois, taking a road trip there is always a yearly activity.



Connect with Adrianna via LinkedIn; Instagram; or email!



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Join us Wednesday, November 29th from 7:00-8:00 pm CST, for JETAA Chicago's last Japanese Language Series event for 2023!


It might be past time to start preparing for the JLPT in December, but we're going for one last Gambare! We will be going through some Kanji and Dokkai (reading) activities based on the JLPT N4, N3, and N2. Not preparing for any of those tests? No worries! The night will still be an opportunity for Japanese practice for all skill levels. ぜひ来てください!


The Japanese Language Series events are intended to bring together JETAA members and supporters who want to stay engaged with Japanese language learning and use.


Sign up here!


Questions? Email our Secretary, Rurik.


This event is open to alumni and Friends of JET.

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JETAA CHICAGO

Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Alumni Association of Chicago
Connecting JET alumni in the Midwest - Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana
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