As for McDonald a psychology professor at several universities he quipped Im

As for mcdonald a psychology professor at several

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As for McDonald, a psychology professor at several universities, he quipped, "I'm still looking for my first honest job." Meanwhile, he offers this advice: Take your anger and use it "to create the drive and push to be the best you can be and do just a little bit better. Don't do it just to 'show them,' but to show yourself. Counteracting negative stereotypes is so very
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important to later peace of mind." A career well-lived After experiencing racism throughout college, K. Patrick Okura had just received his master's degree in psychology when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was immediately interned in San Anita, Calif., along with 19,000 other Japanese-Americans. "I was about to start my career, and I ended up working in the horse stables," the 89- year-old Okura said. While the experience could have left him embittered, something happened that changed his life. A man his wife worked for at the camp heard he was a mental health professional and introduced him to Father Flanagan of Boy's Town, the renowned home for orphaned boys. Flanagan needed a mental health expert to test the 400 youngsters living there. The experience helped cement a life's value for Okura. "It's not how smart you are or how knowledgeable you are-- you have to depend on other people to help you," Okura said. "In that way you're able to succeed." His work with the youngsters at Boy's Town turned out to be immensely gratifying.
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"I felt like this is what life's all about," he said. "Since then, my whole philosophy has been to help others." From Boy's Town, Okura went on to a number of high-level mental health positions in the state and federal governments, including as assistant director for International Mental Health Programs at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In 1988, Okura and his wife Lilly Okura founded the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation Inc., an organization that grants mental health fellowships to promising Asian- American students. The two funded the project with money they received from former President Bush as an apology for the internment experience. So far they've funded 90 fellows. "I hope to hit (age) 100, and by then the foundation will be able to fund another 100 people," Okurasaid. "By the time I leave this earth, there will hopefully be 200 Okura fellows to carry on my work." Forging a field Despite the fact that he has shone in academia, Stanford University professor Amado Padilla said his time as a Latino at various prestigious universities has been intellectually and emotionally isolating.
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"Throughout my academic training as an experimental psychologist at the University of New Mexico, I never met another Latino or ethnic-minority psychologist," Padilla said. And it didn't get better from there: At his next three teaching jobs--at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 197174, the University of California at Los Angeles from 197488 and Stanford University from 1988 to the present--it hasn't been easy finding people of like mind and culture, he said.
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  • Spring '17
  • lavender
  • Psychology, JOSEPH L. WHITE, Amado M. Padilla, Lilly Okura

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