Mr. Hirokazu Togo, a public servant specializing in food safety at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, took a leave of absence to study at Cornell University in New York State.
After receiving advice from a work supervisor, Mr. Togo became interested in pursuing a masters’ degree in public health during a training visit in 2013 to Los Angeles for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. “I wanted to take on the challenge, but I lacked the required English skills and financial resources. I thought it wasn’t for me, so I did not take any particular action,” Mr. Togo recalls. However, after his mother’s death, which occurred the following year, his feelings changed. “I realized that life is short, and I felt that I should try what I want to pursue, rather than remain where I was being afraid of failure.”
While conducting his studies, Mr. Togo’s feelings about his own English skills changed. “My English is poor compared to native English speakers, but I realized that I have strengths that are characteristic to the Japanese people, such as being attentive to detail and extraordinarily hardworking. As a result, I got high marks in class and was chosen as a teaching assistant this semester. Also, we presented our report on our school breakfast program at an in-class presentation competition and won the first prize,” Mr. Togo stated with confidence. Rather than using his English ability as an excuse, Mr. Togo gathered courage and fully utilized his strengths to take his first step in realizing his dreams. Consequently, now, a new world is opening up for him.
Originally posted at: https://www.fulbright.jp/scholarship/story/23_en.html