2015 Consul General's Commendation
Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi of the Consulate General of Japan in New York will honor Ms. Julie Azuma, an outstanding member of the Japanese and Japanese American community and groundbreaking social entrepreneur, with his Consul General’s commendation.
Ms. Azuma has made remarkable contributions to the warmth and depth of the friendship between Japan and the United States by working to strengthen and improve the welfare of the Japanese American community, by fostering cross-cultural activities, as well as by serving as an inspiring role model of a successful social entrepreneur. The honoree is the Founder and President of Different Roads to Learning and DRL Books Inc., which sell educational materials for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities, meeting the underserved need of many parents and teachers. With over 80,000 customers, Ms. Azuma is a successful social entrepreneur who has been featured on various U.S. media outlets, which include CNBC, PBS and Forbes.
As an active leader in community affairs in New York, Ms. Azuma has served as Chairperson of the Board of Asian Women In Business, Chairperson on the Foundation Board at Eden II,and Vice President of the Japanese American Association (JAA). Ms. Azuma has advanced the empowerment and capacity of the Japanese American community by bringing members closer together, and closer to Japan, through the hosting of bilateral exchanges, especially for youth. For her tireless work, she has been recognized with many community service awards, which include the "Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream Award" from Governor George Pataki, the Lotus Award from the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans and has been honored by the New York City Comptroller’s Office for her dedicated work in both the Asian and developmentally disabled communities. She is also one of the alumni of the 2013 Japanese American Leaders Program (JALD).