Hi there! It’s Emily again, writing a new graduating senior profile for Atsuko Shimizu! Atsuko is from Tarrytown, New York, and attends Irvington High School.
Atsuko first heard about EFLI through Jado Morrise. She wanted to do something different over the summer and hoped that participating in EFLI would strengthen her ability to truly talk to people and gain confidence.
Atsuko started Activating Leadership (AL) the summer before her senior year of high school. During AL, Atsuko appreciated the many activities she did with fellow participants in a circle, where they discussed issues within our world and had the opportunity to define their own leadership styles. For Atsuko, it was incredibly special to hear other perspectives from people on issues that she had not paid attention to. However, it was challenging speaking in front to everyone.
After AL, Atsuko decided to join the Youth Ambassador Board (YAB). She really liked the space that EFLI provided and wanted to continue working on what she had learned over the summer: gaining more confidence, progressing her understanding of many aspects of the world, and attaining personal goals she had set. Atsuko holds a key role in the YAB community as the historian/note-taker. and has thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in a “chill” environment of YAB. Despite the comfort she feels in the EFLI community, Atsuko is always able to be efficient and get work done. Most notably, the Young Women Empowered (Y-EW) exchange with the Y-WE community in Seattle was a really nice experience for Atsuko. It was interesting to meet people so much like our community at EFLI but from such a different geographic location. She liked that we had the same goals and intentions as the girls had from Y-WE.
I never knew Atsuko while she was in the AL program, but I have gotten to know her through AL. She is always a dilligent worker, and so creative! Atsuko was my secret santa for the YAB gift exchange this past Christmas, and her present was so thoughtful. She gifted me handmade Reese's Cups, packets of hot chocolate, and a beautifully decorated card with my name on it wishing me a happy holidays. Atsuko is an amazing visual artist. It makes sense that she is interested in art, history, and various cultures. Outside of school, Atsuko often draws on the computer, listens to music, and walks outside in nature.
In the fall of 2014, Atsuko will be attended SUNY Binghamton. She is unsure of a major but hopes to find something that she truly enjoys learning about. Atsuko thinks she will most likely end up majoring in something in the arts. She cannot wait to find people who have the same interests as her through various organizations and clubs. Getting involved in music clubs, art clubs, European clubs, travel clubs, and maybe even playing in a band will allow her to meet new people and create new, amazing experiences.
Atsuko hopes to carry the lessons she learned and the confidence she found in herself throughout her experiences at EFLI into her years at Binghamton and beyond. She has learned so much about herself and her capacity to thrive in a new environment while being a part of EFLI. Not being afraid to try new things and having openness to new people and ideas will also be aspects that will help her in her future. She is a very creative and caring person and I, personally, cannot wait to hear how college treats her!