Employee Spotlight: Shinichi Shishido

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employee spotlight: shinichi shishido

Aaron Pylinski | Community Writer
Shinichi Shishido is the Youth Cultural Coordinator at the Youth & Teen Center. Shishido-san has been in this position for the last three years, fulfilling his dream of working on the air station ever since he went bowling here with friends when he was a junior high school student. In his position, he supports annual events and field trips for the youth living on station giving them a taste of Japanese culture.

He grew up in Iwakuni, where he went to junior high school just outside the gate and in his free time enjoys tooling around Iwakuni checking out what's new with restaurants and shopping. Shishido-san focuses on fostering a bridge in culture and learning between the U.S. and Japanese youth and hopes to expand that in the future with the Youth & Teen Center.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in lwakuni. My Junior High School was near the main gate. I had many U.S. classmates that I played soccer with and hung out with after school. One day, my friend's mother took my friend and I bowling on station. It was a whole new world for me. Since then, working on station became a dream of mine.

When I was in my mid 20s, I interviewed for jobs on station several times but was not successful. In the meantime, I worked at an amusement park and later a travel company. However, the hours were long with a low salary.

I knew I needed to change jobs for the sake of my family and then I remembered the dream that I had of working on station. Everybody said, "It's impossible!" I tried again and again. One day, I received a phone call. The voice on the line said, "Congratulations! You passed your interview! Would you like to work at Club lwakuni?"

After working a year at Club Iwakuni in procurement, three years ago I changed to my current position which I enjoy so much. I am so proud to be on the MCCS staff.

What is your position at MCCS?

My position is the Youth & Cultural Coordinator. I support annual events and make arrangements for field trips. It sounds fun, but actually, it requires a lot of physical strength and patience.

Tell us about the team that you work with at the Youth & Teen Center.

The people I work with are very reliable. They are not only caregivers but good counselors for the youth. Taking children outside is a high responsibility job. I can't do anything without their help and cooperation. The Youth & Teen Center staff always do a great job with the kids.

What are your favorite parts about working in the position that you are in?

My favorite parts are when I make it through an event. I am able to look back and share happiness with our staff and participants after the event.


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What is it like for you to assist our youth who are not from here with understanding and enjoying Japanese culture?

There are mainly two aims for me. First, I try to release the kid's stress by teaching them about the surrounding area and customs. This helps them realize that it's safe and they recognize the many friendly local people. In my opinion, children's stress affects their parents. Eventually, it affects their work and community.

Secondly, there are plenty of opportunities to have unique experiences during their stay in Japan. I believe that living here offers irreplaceable memories for them.

What do you hope the youth will learn from working with you?

Even when they just go to an amusement park, children learn various important things. Preparing items the day before, waking up early in the morning, remembering to bring their belongings, and cooperating with friends under different circumstances. It sounds simple, but it is essential for social life.

What can be challenging about your job?

Currently, I am trying to make a school visitation program. I believe touching on foreign education and mingling with students abroad is worth doing. There are many off station schools that have unique programs.

We visited Oshima Island High School last week. On that day, local students and teachers showed us around pretty places on the island. In the near future, I'm planning to go to an engineering school. From that, I hope to bring robotics technology classes to the Youth & Teen Program.

What do you like to do with your free time?

I like to go out and see what is around. I especially like to try out newly opened institutions like restaurants, and go to shopping malls with my family or alone. Sometimes going out like this gives me good ideas for future trips.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

I would like to support more educational opportunities for the new teens center. Japanese parents take their children to after-school programs because they don't study at home. We have good rooms the youth can use here for after school studies. Since we're at MC Perry Middle School, children can easily use those facilities upstairs. What a fantastic study environment!

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