April 30 is the deadline to apply for HUOA’s Leadership Study Tour to Okinawa, scheduled for Oct. 2-13. The tour is designed to inspire and develop club and HUOA leaders by giving them an opportunity to take part in an intensive educational and experiential study tour of Okinawa.

Thirty-seven people participated in the first leadership tour in 1980. It was initiated and sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The tour was revived in 1993 with HUOA, the participants and their sponsoring clubs sharing the cost. Subsequent tours were held in 1995 and 1999.

“The Leadership Study Tours have made a tremendous impact, said tour chair and 1993-94 HUOA president Jane Serikaku. “Many of the participants have made significant contributions to their clubs and HUOA.”

Each club is responsible for selecting its own participant, age 25 to 45, and for submitting the application to the Leadership Committee. The $2,100 tour cost (airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations) will be split three ways: one-third paid by HUOA, and the remaining two-thirds by the participant and the sponsoring club. The HUOA subsidy will be awarded to the first 16 applicants who meet the basic criteria. The individual selected need not be an active or current officer. However, consideration should be given to his or her demonstrated potential to lead.

Participants are required to attend pre-tour workshops on Okinawan history, culture, protocol and etiquette as well as on HUOA and its clubs. They must also attend a post-tour evaluation. While in Okinawa, they will attend lectures, take part in discussions, tours, cultural recitals and interact with other young adults.

The participants are required to spend two nights in a homestay situation, ideally with their Okinawan relatives, or a family from their ancestors’ hometown. The homestay is an opportunity to live the language, culture and lifestyle of Okinawa. It has been one of the most successful components of the Leadership Study Tour. Participants must submit the name, address and phone number of their homestay family when they apply. Application forms are available from your club president, or by calling the HUOA office at 676-5400.

“It is HUOA’s hope that the participants will return from the Leadership Study Tour inspired and committed to serve and provide leadership in their clubs and the HUOA,” said Serikaku.