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Heart of America

Student Ambassador Program

About Our Program

Since 1972, the Heart of America Japan-America Society and the city of Kansas City, Missouri have engaged in a Sister City Program with the beautiful city of Kurashiki, Japan. Since 1981, our members have helped sponsor almost 80 American high school students in a summer homestay program in Kurashiki. These “Student Ambassadors” have studied the Japanese language and are well qualified to represent the Japan-America Society.

Congratulations to this year's Student Ambassadors! Max Alvarez, Truitt Lowrey, Mae Masek, and Oliver Yeager will be traveling to Kurashiki in July to represent the Kansas City area, the Heart of America Japan-America Society, and the United States. We're excited to provide these students the opportunity to experience homestays with families from our beloved sister city! 

If you’re interested in applying for the Student Ambassador Program next summer, please return to this page after January 1, 2025. In the meantime, please email any questions you have about the program to

You can read about our 2023 Student Ambassadors' experiences in their post-trip essays below. 

     Nigel Barrett Essay        Aidan Joyce Essay       Caleb Morris Essay

Nigel Barrett, Aidan Joyce, and Caleb Morris

2023 Student Ambassadors to Kurashiki, Okayama - Japan


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