Friday, December 31, 2010


Just the other day I received my Host Family info!  I will be living with the Kato's, a family of five in the town of Obu-shi.  Obu-shi is a little south of Nagoya, the 4th biggest city in Japan.  I will have two siblings, a 13 year old girl, Chiharu and a 15 year old boy, Yoshiyuki.  I will be attending school at Anjou Senior High School which is located in the city Anjyou-shi (a short train ride away).  My host parent's names are Ryozo (father), Yukie (mother), and Tamiko (grandmother). Since the grandmother lives with the family I expect it to be more traditional than the typical family.   I am so excited to meet them!

In other news I received word from Peninsula Odd Fellows. They have voted to kick start my trip with $1,000!  This week I will contact the Elks and VFW to see if they are willing to help me as well.  Thanks for the support everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Breif Summery

My name is Michael Manning.  It is impossible to explain my personality through my name or words alone; however, by explaining my thoughts and dreams it is possible to grasp who I am.  One dream of mine is to learn 5 or more languages.  The other dream is to be a Game Designer and to one day create my own full completed game.  These two dreams are very different, yet in the mind of a 5th grader (at the time) I had blended them perfectly in my head.  Upon entering Arts & Communications Magnet Academy, my high school, middle school, and family, I was given the opportunity of a start towards the completion of one of these dreams: Japan.  After 3 years of Japanese, I discovered American Field Service’s (AFS) student exchange program through a friend. Through AFS I have the opportunity to travel to Japan as a foreign exchange student for a whole year!

During this experience I will live with a Japanese host family and attend school at the local Japanese high school.  There I will work to become fluent in the Japanese language, improve my ability to communicate to people I have never met with, and experience a culture completely different from my own!  Through this process of becoming an international student I will learn much more about myself and the world in which I live.  I believe Japan will mentor me in these things and help me pursue future dreams and goals for myself in the future.

I am currently a junior in high school and this is my last chance to study abroad in a foreign high school.  During the application process, my mother, a single parent, was laid off work making the completion of a study abroad look more like a dream rather than a reality.  She still believes I can do it and supports me one hundred percent in spite of our current situation.  Through scholarships and fundraising I still have the chance to make it to Japan.   I am currently looking for scholarships through multiple organizations to see if they are willing to support my dream. With all this support I believe I can raise the remaining $9,000. 

If you would like to contribute to help me reach my aspirations, click on the Chipin button for a non-tax-deductible donation.  No amount will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Thank you for taking some time to read my story and support my dreams. If you know anyone else who may also be interested in sponsoring me, please share this link with them:

Thank You.