A snapshot of the 2022 Shinnyo Fellowship Program Orientation!

July 28, 2022

The 2022-2023 Shinnyo Fellows, along with their university and partner organization supervisors, gathered together for orientation at the Shinnyo-en USA Head Temple in Redwood City, CA.

The last two years of the Shinnyo Fellowship Orientation were held virtually, and while necessary it just wasn’t the same getting to know our Shinnyo Fellows and their supervisors or mentors.

The highlight of the orientation was Shinnyo Fellows’ peace box making and presentation, check out the peace boxes below!

Each Shinnyo Fellow used a 10x10x10 box and created a collage with magazines, illustrations, creative writing, and stickers to make their paths to peace come alive in the form of a peace box. The Shinnyo Fellows brought their peace boxes to our Annual Retreat at Marconi Conference Center in Marshall, CA to share their paths to peace with other retreat participants.

Please read on to learn more about the 2022-2023 Shinnyo Fellows and their paths to peace!

Shinnyo-en Foundation is pleased to announce
the 2022-2023 Shinnyo Fellows

Each year the Shinnyo Fellows immerse themselves in a year-long Fellowship in local, national or international organizations. For the Shinnyo Fellowship Program, we continue to collaborate with Chapman University, George Mason University, Seattle University, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, and Redwood City Together.

We are pleased to announce the 2022-2023 Shinnyo Fellows!


Rabia Asif (Post-Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Rabia Asif recently graduated magna cum laude from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a minor in Spanish. As a pre-medical student who has
volunteered at the local free clinic, Rabia has been invested in learning about health disparities and exploring the connection between socioeconomic status and poor health outcomes. Informed by her clinical experiences and her sociology courses at Chapman University, Rabia believes that education is one of the most important resources that needs to be distributed equally to prevent poor health outcomes in underserved communities. This conviction led Rabia to devote her time as a tutor for the nonprofit organization, School on Wheels, which provides educational services to the youth who have been displaced from their homes. Further, she volunteers for the organization, Sustainable Together, where she spreads nutritional information to the underserved community in Pomona, California and has helped to create a 3rd grade nutritional curriculum to teach at the Pomona Unified School District. Rabia has combined her passions for discovery and teaching, as she continues to spread her findings from her own research project exploring the effects of mindfulness on stress, attention, and memory with implications for Alzheimer’s disease.

As a Shinnyo Fellow, Rabia will work with a local organization, Higher Ground Youth and Family Services in Anaheim, to provide mentorship to the underserved youth in Orange County and plans to contribute to their nutritional program and implement a mindfulness program.


Amanda Peña (Post-Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Amanda is a recent graduate from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics, as well as Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Global Engagement. She came to these studies after hearing a survivor of the Rwandan genocide speak about rebuilding the community following the atrocities that occurred. The survivor ended his talk by explaining the importance of being a ripple of change, because one act of compassion and kindness will have an impact on others who will do the same. The significance of relationships and community were instilled in Amanda from a young age, and these are values she carries with her, which is a large reason why the survivor’s talk had such an effect on her. Because of this, she makes the effort to create bonds with individuals in all aspects of her life. Whether forming great relationships with her host family abroad in Spain, coaching youth club volleyball and running the club volleyball team at GMU, or developing relationships within the classroom, Amanda hopes to be a ripple of change to everyone she encounters.

During her time as a Shinnyo Fellow, Amanda hopes to be part of an organization that works with communities affected by conflict to create sustainably transformative resolutions that make efforts to prevent the conflict from reoccurring.


Gelsey Manipon (Post-Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Gelsey Manipon is a recent graduate from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities for Teaching specializing in Elementary Education and a minor in Economics. Since transferring to Seattle University, Gelsey has worked closely with staff and peers in the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) as a Core member and Team Lead in the Extended Learning Program (ELP) at a local elementary school and as a CCE Ambassador. Through her work with the Center, she upheld the Center’s mission to connect students on campus to the community around Seattle U. As an educator shaped by her humanistic classes and justice- oriented internships, Gelsey emphasizes care for the whole person rather than seeing students as workers. She prioritizes a growth/progress mindset over a fixed one regarding the knowledge and talents her scholars bring into the classroom.

As a Shinnyo Fellow, Gelsey plans to examine the cracks in the current education system, focusing on accessibility for all youth. By learning and growing alongside her scholars and peers, she has made countless discoveries about who she is as an educator and hopes to continue doing so.

Jackson Hollie (Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Jackson Hollie (He/Him) is a rising senior at Seattle University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Through his studies and campus leadership, Jackson focuses on social justice and partnerships with underrepresented people and communities. He has helped build a welcoming and inclusive campus culture through his work as an ambassador for Seattle University’s Center of Community
Engagement (CCE). Jackson believes in the power of servant leadership to help others succeed through their own efforts and on their own terms. As a future leader in business, he hopes to build a career strengthening corporate ethics, social responsibility and fostering equitable partnerships between businesses and

As a Shinnyo Fellow, Jackson looks forward to helping to create opportunities for
community empowerment and inclusion.

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at STANFORD UNIVERSITY and Redwood City Together

Kelly Clavel (Post-Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Kelly is a recent graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science. She is passionate about educational equity, especially for minority students in inner-city districts. She authored an honors thesis about how Trump-era policies affect Latinx students’ classroom experiences in urban areas. She hopes to devote her career to working in policy-making spaces. She has worked as a policy intern at a non-profit law firm on their education team, where she analyzed policy and often helped as a Spanish translator. She has also worked as a research assistant for Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and for Stanford’s Political Psychology Research Group. Kelly also worked at an immigrant rights nonprofit in Downtown Los Angeles during the peak of the COVID pandemic, where she helped distribute state government relief aid for unauthorized immigrants.

During her time as a Shinnyo fellow, Kelly hopes to learn more about community advocacy and is excited to be a part of an organization that promotes community empowerment.


Óscar García Valadez (Post-Undergraduate Shinnyo Fellow)

Óscar García Valadez (he/his) is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where he obtained a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and received a double minor in Education and Chicanx Studies. Óscar was born
and raised in South Hayward, California in the Bay Area. Growing up as a low-income, queer, first generation, Latinx son of immigrant parents, Óscar had realized the difference in human experience these identities can have. Holding an intersectional experience similar to those of his community inspired him to critically think of the patterns, power structures and privileges within the society around him. As an undergraduate at Cal, this awareness sparked his community-centered social justice lens. He applied this lens while working with student-led and campus organizations that address and center the needs of minority students, especially the crossroads of educational access and retention and low-income, first gen, Black/Latinx/Indigenous people (students). Óscar worked closely with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Raíces Recruitment and Retention Center, one of the largest RRCs on the campus, addressing the educational opportunity gap first hand. This community centered work showed him his transformational power that each and every one of us holds. Now, he hopes to continue his growth as well as guide others to facilitate their growth based on the life experiences they have as a multifaceted being.

Óscar hopes to continue addressing these educational disparities in his work with Shinnyo-en Foundation as the 2022-2023 Shinnyo College Access Fellow.