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
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.