Help us go to Japan!

Please help my students experience a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity to go to Japan and attend a Japanese high school for a week while staying with Japanese host families!! Some students come from families with only one income or no current income. Help fulfill their dream!

Words from some of my students...

My name is Maria.  It has been a dream of mine to always go to Japan since I was younger.  I grew fond of the culture from watching anime on TV when I was in elementary school, seeing some displays of the food and religion, along with the interactions.  I would always want to eat foods like sushi or ramen because of this. Sushi is now one of my favorite foods. I joined the Japanese class to learn more of the culture and one day speak a good amount to be able to go to Japan myself.  So finding out I had this opportunity was like a dream come true, the only issue was the amount it would cost.

I’m a freshman. I’m taking my first Japanese course this year. We've learned the basics of the language, and I’m trying my best to keep up with the class. After high school, I’m thinking of going to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy or the Air Force Academy. Learning Japanese is part of my future plan. I’ll continue the Japanese course until my junior or senior year and, in the future, I want to be placed in a military base in Japan. I want to explore the world, develop relationships with different people and understand different ways of living. I want to influence others to take the Japanese course or take an interest in the Japanese culture like myself.  

While I’m working on my future goals, my everyday life has been a bit challenging. I live in a small condo with my mom, brother, and a grandma who has Alzheimer's and dementia.  My mom takes care of her, and of course, I help her do so. After my father died when I was seven, my mom went through a mental depression and soon lost her job when I was in the third grade. If it weren't for my aunt, we probably would have been homeless. I was there for my mom a lot. Soon my brother and I made her find a job. She finally did when I reached middle school. Even after all of this, she still made sure we had food on the table and shoes on my feet. She finally got a stable job last year and it has been going well although she isn't out of her depression fully. I try not to worry about these things though, I distract myself with sports like track, which I have been doing since I was 10 and I recently started playing soccer.

I want to take this trip as a learning experience and hopefully come back as a new person, or different in some shape or form. Money is still an ongoing struggle, not just for me but some others with the same ambitions as mine to be able to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Japan. Please help us carry out our dream. We’ll truly appreciate your support. Thank you!

Hello, my name is Djibril. I am a senior at Paint Branch High School who is greatly anticipating our group trip to Japan. For years now I have been fascinated by Japanese culture and when given the opportunity to act upon my desires to go to Japan I had to try. This is a tremendous experience, but it also comes with a hefty price tag of 4,000 dollars per person.

This would cause a financial burden on many of us trying to attend. My situation is also a special exception given my family does not have the funds to pay for this trip so I had to pick up a part-time job and balance work, school, and wrestling practice as well. This Gofundme page is to help the students like me who don't have the financial capability to pay for all of this trip, but have the burning desire to experience it.

Hello! My name is Dakkota. I am a freshman at Paint Branch high school. I am excited to learn about the culture of Japan. I’ve always had a niche for learning about new topics. Japan would be my first chapter to this expectantly exciting journey of life ahead of me. It would also be the first time that I travel. As of right now, I am helping my mom at work and using some of her tips as funding for the trip. She is also contributing as well. We all would really appreciate your help into making this become reality!

If you'd like to help fund my students go to Japan, it's also possible to send a check to Paint Branch High School at:  
Mikiko Korn (Checks need to be payable to Mikiko Korn, not Paint Branch.)
Paint Branch High School 
14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville
MD 20866


  • Michele Laney
    • $25 
    • 5 yrs

Fundraising team: Paint Branch Japan Trip Team (10)

Mikiko Korn
Burtonsville, MD
Andrew Chen
Team member
Christina Loi
Team member
Dakkota Bounsynhavong
Team member
Djibril Ndiaye
Team member

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