CONNOR FORREST, pictured, who recently graduated from Seaside High School, WON A 14-DAY SERVICE TRIP TO JAPAN this month by winning MTV CONTEST, “Act for Japan.”

He submitted a video, which featured “testimonials” by several pals about how much he loves Japan, along with a very animated tribute of his own. You can see it here: JORDIN SPARKS (pictured, inset), the 2007 American Idol, chose him to win the trip, which is hosted by People to People Student Ambassador Programs, and is focused on helping with continued tsunami relief.  

“As a freshman in high school, I decided to take Japanese class and that’s when my love for Japan began,” Connor told MTV. “I studied every day and did well. I was a little Japanese nerd! Ha! I also had an amazing teacher, MR. MARSH, and he really helped my love for the language and culture grow.”

“Ever since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami last year,” he continued, “I have wanted to hop on a plane and help clean up and rebuild. So I am very excited for this opportunity ... and I would also love to be an English tutor if I could.”

“I still cannot believe it,” Connor enthused. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen to small town kids like me. It’s crazy to think about, still.”

— Elleda Wilson

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