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In March, 2018 I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in the 2017 Kakehashi Project, a cultural exchange program through the Japanese government. It was my first major trip outside of the United States and gave me a whole new perspective on the world and how other people live. I was inspired particularly by the public/private cooperation exemplified by OMRON, who created a factory and community for disabled workers that allowed them to earn above minimum wage in an environment tailored to their specific needs. I hope a similar program might help with the drug and opioid epidemic in my home state of Kentucky, by giving these disadvantaged communities hope and an economic future again.
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