About us

Place to Grow is a 100% volunteer-led nonprofit that strives to connect and inspire a rising generation of leaders in disaster-stricken Tohoku communities.


To inspire the next generation of Tohoku

   “We believe People Inspire People, and while you cannot empower another human, you can inspire them to choose self empowerment.” 

– Angela Marie Ortiz, NGO Founder – PLACE TO GROW

Founded in 2011 in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear disasters, Place To Grow has developed from a first responders emergency aid organization, to providing long term community support.



Inclusion In Support

Shared experiences bring people together, “ working together for  a common goal connects individuals and fosters community beyond the small problems of everyday life.

People Inspire People

Peer To Peer role models inspire us to pursue a life of self development and empowerment.


Role models inspire us to choose hobbies, academic pursuits, travel experiences, career paths and more.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Fitness is a basic foundation for a healthy life, we believe children who learn the simple fundamentals of fitness will become more confident and empowered adults. 

Place To Grow programs create life-changing opportunities for children – fostering communication and confidence through fitness & language exchange.

Place To Grow Volunteers visit small communities in Miyagi prefecture on a monthly basis, to hold workshops and community planning events with local families; children and the city leaders.

The annual Santa Soul Train project spans 3 days in December and brings together the wider community – fostering solidarity, community spirit, and connections.  1500 children in Tohoku and Tokyo are currently part of this pen-pal style project.


The leadership Team of Place To Grow consists of three work streams:

Volunteers join according to personal interests and skills. Self development courses from public speaking, networking to NGO management are held throughout the year. 

Angela Ortiz

CEO/Programs Lead

Kyal Hill

Membership Lead

Chen Chen

Marketing Lead

Ayako Kobayashi

Administration Lead

Kayleigh Ward




Erwin Ortiz

IT, Media





Hi! 😀 My name is Dominique and I work with the PTG Marketing and social media team. I'm originially from the Washington D.C. area but currently live in Tokyo. I was introduced to PTG by a former member and was so impressed by the volunteers and the "Develop Yourself to Inspire Others" workshop that I decided to join!



Hi, my name is Anicia from Switzerland. I found out about PTG after a Spartan race where I participated with Angela and Kevin. It makes me happy to support PTG and the kids through sports workshops and language exchange.

Organization Name: 
特定非営利活動法人Place to Grow
Registration Number法人番号5011005006522

 Tokyo Office:
Takahara Building 4A, 1-6-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
Telephone: 090-6851-5834

Minamisanriku Office:  
22 Tomarihama, Utatsu, Minamisanriku-cho, Motoyoshi-gun, Miyagi, 988-0444
Telephone: 090-6851-5834