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The  Jr. YBA was first established in the state of Hawai'i in 1957.  The Jr. YBA was separated from the original Young Buddhists Association (YBA), which had begun in the 1930s, at the 24th Territorial YBA Convention.  For the past 63 years, we have focused on not only helping our temples and sanghas but as well as the rest of our communities.  We strive to be a place where young Buddhists can embrace themselves, their religion, and create bonds that will last a lifetime.

"Jr. Young Buddhist Association (Jr. YBA) is a place where everyone is able to be who they are without the worry of judgment from other people. We are able to make the best memories and have the most genuine laughs with each other, feeling a different bond. Through being a minority religion, we are able to connect to others who share many of the same beliefs, morals, and values in a different way. Even through the few days at camps or conventions, we are able to open up and develop a sense of trust with people who become more than lifelong friends, but family."

In Gassho,

Lauren Kana Suzuki [2020 - 2021 Hawaii Federation Jr. YBAs President]

Our Officers and Advisor


Chad "Chihiro" Okawa

Federation President

・United of Oahu・

Aiea Hongwanji

Becoming president of the Jr. YBA  is an honor and something I never imagined attaining when I first joined Jr. YBA. Through this position, I would like to guide this year's board to make relevant changes and become more technologically advanced to continue into the modern world.


Kaylie Okuni

Federation Vice President

・United of 'Oahu・

Makawao Hongwanji


 I have been in Jr.YBA for about 5 years now I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences I have had! It’s been an absolute honor to serve as Federation Vice President! I would have never in my life thought I would be a Federation officer but here I am :) I am looking forward to meeting all of you guys soon and  I can’t wait to make many new memories and create lifelong friendships! 


Emma Fujikawa

Federation Secretary

・United of Honolulu・

Windward Buddhist Temple


I am so happy for the opportunity to be federation secretary this year! I'm looking forward to a productive and fun year with everyone.


Jay Yokoyama

Federation Teasurer

・United of Maui

Makawao Hongwanji


Hello, my name is Jaimee Yokoyama but I currently go by Jay. I have been in YBA for 5 years, and my favorite thing about it is being able to connect and make friendships with others.

Joy Wasai Nishida

Federation Advisor

・United of Honolulu・

In addition to being a co-advisor to the United Jr. YBA of Honolulu since 2004, I have been the Federation (State) Advisor since 2012. I work with Jr. YBA Advisors and members from around the State as well as the Federation officers. 

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