Kiko Yoshihira’s motivation in Project Engage sparked when she was involved in a local leadership program. Here, she helped elementary and middle school students with their science experiments. As she immersed herself in this educational setting, she discovered that the gratitude she received from teaching students was incredibly fulfilling. Observing her students develop self-motivation and uncover their passion was heartwarming. Teaching topics that are often overlooked in school was what she found exciting for her and her students. However, once the COVID 19 pandemic hit, Kiko was unable to continue this program as a teacher in an in-person format. Undeterred, she had decided to continue this online via Zoom. She had contacted many libraries seeking collaboration in forming a similar environment virtually. Annoyed by their lack of responses, she decided to take matters into her own hands, independently.
Not only was the purpose of this organization for students, but was also for instructors as well. Since its primary focus was on classes that were not often taught in school, it allowed instructors to teach what truly ignited their passion and enthusiasm. Kiko envisioned a community where self-motivated students connected with passionate instructors, extending their interest beyond the virtual classrooms and into their future career and lives.