I grew up in suburban Detroit, the youngest of four girls. My mother, a second-generation Japanese American, was one of the thousands that spent time in the internment camps during World War II. My Minnesota farm-boy father served occupation duty in Japan. After his service, he was able to attend college and law school on his GI Bill. My sisters and I were raised to value education.

I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in economics and Asian studies. But I became interested in the philanthropic sector after taking a class about community development during my senior year. I learned about the power of civic engagement, that even modest amounts of giving could have a significant impact.

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