Despite being raised by wolves in the forests of Northern Minnesota, Kate Thersleff managed to enroll in and graduate from the U of M – Morris, thus qualifying her for the JET Programme. She worked for three years in Wakayama-ken, where in addition to teaching she also became the “Voice of Koya-san”, making her basically an avatar of the most sacred mountain in Shinto. She now serves as the brains and driving force behind JETAA-MN, also known as the President.
After what seemed like an odd obsession with Japanese history growing up in rural Minnesota, I ended up studying abroad in Japan (and didn’t want to leave). On JET I worked as an ALT in a joint junior and senior high school, with a few weeks at a school for deaf or learning disabled students. Now as a career, I help students find and prepare for international education experiences, as well as working with students coming to the U.S. to study.
Greg was born and raised in Minnesota, coming from humble beginnings on the East side of St. Paul. His time on JET was split, with his first two years being an ALT working in a Senior High School, and his latter two years working as a Prefectural Advisor (PA) in the Fukuoka Board of Education. His passion for Japan extends beyond the classroom, as he took up learning judo while on JET, and continues it today. Currently he works in pharmaceutical manufacturing for a global Japanese company, and plans to return to Japan in the near future to live and work.
Mark worked as an ALT in Kobe while volunteering at Kobe Gaidai University of Foreign Studies. Though his time on the JET Program has passed, he continues to work as an educator – He works in Higher Education as an Academic Advisor during the day, and teaches English to Japanese students online at night. In his spare time, Mark loves to actively study Japanese, travel, sing karaoke and do Escape Rooms. If you share the same interests, he’d love to hear from you!
Mario is a Saint Paul native and participated on JET in Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture. He now works technical communications for Boston Scientific. He is a lover of all things Japanese and strives to bring the things he loves about Japan back home. He is excited to be involved with JETAAMN!
A Saint Paul native, Nikolai grew up bearing through the cold winters. After graduating from Macalester College and spending two years in China, he applied for the JET Program. Minnesota winters had him ill prepared for the less cold but more snowy winters of Aomori. After three years of teaching, he decided to pursue his passions in IT. Currently he works as a SQL Report Developer for a company that provides payroll services. He loves Japanese language and culture, so if you’re here you probably have something in common.
After graduating from Lawrence University and a brief stint in the corporate world, Virginia joined the JET Programme as an early departure JET in 2015. Currently she works for the Technology Department of a large public school in the Twin Cities. she loves vegan baking, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Cece was born and raised in St. Paul, MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and a passion for Japan! Her two years as an ALT tested her ability to create English learning games on the fly, broke her MN habit of pronouncing milk like “melk”, and increased her karaoke skills 100 fold. On returning to MN Cece began working in the nonprofit world and enjoys regularly connecting with JET friends at home and abroad.