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Rumi Nagashima - Tokyo, Japan (Global Lives Project, 2007)

Excerpt from the Global Lives Project http://globallives.orgThe subject for our Global Lives Project shoot is Rumi Nagashima, a 22 year-old girl from a suburb in the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from a girl's high school, Rumi began attending Atomi University, an all-girls university, located in Niiza, to major in management studies. Rumi studies both private and public management. Recently she started living near her university in Niiza but often commutes to Higashi-Koganei, a quiet suburb west of one of Tokyo's main hubs, Shinjuku, to visit her parents.In Higashi-Koganei, where she grew up, Rumi serves as a Girl Scout leader guiding other upcoming scouts. Belonging to the 109th team, Rumi plays an important and active role as one of the only two leaders in the area of Koganei city dedicating every Sunday to meeting with Brownies and Girls Scouts. She also attends community building volunteer groups to discuss issues such as public administration and how to create a barrier free city.Due to an accident that occurred about two years ago, Rumi uses a wheelchair to travel around the city. She's independent, strong enough to support herself on an escalator or to lift her wheelchair with one hand. Although, her right leg doesn't seem to move very much, her left leg moves enough for her to stand or walk short distances. As a physically challenged person, Rumi draws attention when moving through the city or strolling around. Since 2005 her dream has been to be able to walk again without any assistance.Her boyfriend is also a scout leader and very devoted to supporting her. He has also represented Japan in several occasions and traveled to many countries to meet other boy scouts around the world.In April 2008, Rumi will graduate from University and start working at Fujitsu as a systems engineer, combining technology with community-oriented projects. She will work as a system engineer after she graduates. She performed well on all her tests and interviews. She hopes her job, as a system engineer will allow her to design software that can be useful to NGOs.
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