UCLA Internship Roundup!

UCLA Internship Roundup!

Meet the Interns

Recently, a group of UCLA students interned at Terasaki Budokan. The Budokan team is so grateful for the amazing team of interns that worked with us this past winter! Lana, Harry, Jodi, Nitsa, and Kellie helped in various ways for their Asian American Studies class, “Power to the People.” Check out the graphic above (created by Lana and Harry) to see what areas they worked in! And read more below to see all of the impactful work they did in Little Tokyo.


Interviews with the Interns by Lana and Harry

Lana and Harry interviewed each other and their fellow interns to hear about the impactful projects they worked on. You can see their full version by clicking here!

UCLA interns with Budokan staff

Kellie, Jodi, and Harry meeting the Budokan team in late January 2024

Q: Lessons learned?

Kellie: Something I learned from being an intern here was that it really does take a village. All of the connections we make along the way in working with our communities are important to establishing strong support for each other. This internship inspires me to continue doing community work because it gave me the opportunity to tangibly engage with ways we can better the environment and lives around us.

Harry: Being at the Budokan, I was able to learn more about the history of the gym and of Little Tokyo. This ethnic enclave has existed for so long and it still has such a vibrant and strong community. I feel so lucky and grateful that through Budokan and Mike Murase, I was able to learn more about this important history, inspiring me to become more involved with community-based orgs.

Nitsa: I learned what a huge impact a single person can have on so many kids. All of the kids in the Mi CASA program think the world of Jackie, they were always so excited to show her their drawings or skills.

Lana: I initially believed the Budokan was simply an event center and a gym. Through this internship, I learned the Budokan was so much more– they are revitalizing the Little Tokyo community through grassroots work and enabling youth to give back to the community.

Jodi: I learned that community efforts, no matter how small, actually contribute so much to the development of others, especially those who do not have that many resources. I think this goes towards the youth specifically because they are the future generation and community help and care will help them carry on the strength and importance of marginalized communities.

interns volunteering at our event

Kellie and Harry volunteering at Budokan’s San Tai San basketball tournament in March 2024

Interns Working with Mi CASA

interns volunteering at our after-school program

Meet Nitsa and Jodi (pictured to the right- graphic and artwork by Lana and Harry)! They worked with Little Tokyo Service Center’s free after-school program, Mi CASA, which is hosted out of Budokan. Amelia, Budokan’s Communications and Outreach Coordinator, interviewed them to hear about their internship experiences. You can watch their interviews by clicking here!

Lana’s Special Newsletter

special intern newsletterLana created a special “intern takeover” Budokan newsletter, which got sent out to over 10,000 people! Her newsletter covers Asian American Studies, this group of interns and why they’re interning at Budokan, and community work. You can read her full newsletter by clicking here!

Harry’s Little Tokyo Walking Tour Recap

Harry went on Mike Murase’s Little Tokyo Walking Tour in February for his solo communications project. He created some amazing artwork (including the graphic below and to the right) and wrote about his experience in Little Tokyo! Read Harry’s full recap, complete with his artwork and graphic design, by clicking here!

walking tour with one of our interns

A little bit about Mike:

Mike is a Little Tokyo legend! He was the founder of Gidra newspaper, Little Tokyo Service Center’s Founding Board President and was later their Director of Service Programs, and was Budokan’s Capital Campaign Director. Mike has a passion for Little Tokyo and leads new LTSC/Budokan staff and interns on a historical walking tour of the community.

Little Tokyo is a special place for me, first of all, because of my personal memories as I was growing up. But later, when we fought for and won the right to have ethnic studies classes at UCLA, we realized that there were very few books that we could rely on to learn about JA or AAPI history, and no professors who could teach the classes.” – Mike Murase

It was definitely a full circle moment to have Mike lead a walking tour that Harry, who now studies Asian American Studies at UCLA, joined.

Here’s part of Harry’s recap:

“Little Tokyo in Los Angeles is seen as a fun and eclectic place that has great food, clothes, and other trinkets. The iconic plaza is bustling with people every weekend, ranging from young children to elders who have lived their entire lives downtown. From some of the oldest shops in the area like Fugetsu-Do to newer stores that reinvent Japanese American identity, like Japangeles, Little Tokyo has become a special place for many. However, this tourist spot has a much more complex and interesting history, serving as a place of refuge for Japanese Americans. Today, it is facing issues of gentrification as the Nisei population begins to dwindle…”

intern and mike murase

Accessibility Tools