Jawanzah “Jay” Crockett, a 2015 Wilson High School graduate, went on a three-week journey to Japan to learn Japanese language and culture. During the trip, he met students and adults from all walks of life and from different places around the world. For the first two weeks, Jawanzah studied at the NILS School in Fukuoka, Japan, learning to read, write, and speak Japanese. Classes were held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and for the rest of the day he studied the language and would often venture off into the city with classmates to enjoy lunch and to explore the city. He arrived in Fukuoka during a four-day-long Buddhist holiday. During his third and last week in Japan, Jawanzah traveled to Tokyo, Japan’s largest and most popular city, to test his knowledge of Japanese language. In Tokyo, he explored the city’s many attractions, including Shibuya (downtown hub), Akihabara (technology epicenter and main tourist shopping destination), and Shinjuku (small mini-city within Tokyo). Also during his stay in Tokyo, he reconnected with an old friend who was an exchange student in DC a few years earlier. Jawanzah said, “My trip to Japan was great; I loved everything about it. The people are very helpful and treat you as a local. I miss Japan a lot and I hope to go back to study next year. My long-term goal is to become fluent in the Japanese language and pursue a career as a translator and interpreter for businesses.”

Jawanzah would like to thank everyone who made his trip possible, including District of Columbia Public Schools, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA), the Southwest Waterfront community, Safeway, Inc., and the Crockett family.

By: Vyllorya Evans

(Jawanzah Crockett contributed to this article.)

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