Cypress College Begins New Chapter

CARP LA students become inspired to start a new campus chapter. 

20232714_10212957685764232_6580910300918588689_oFront left to right: Isaac Takeu, Joshua Yamamoto, Joshua Holmes, Ori Rodriguez; Back left to right: Harumi Muranaka, Maiko Shimogawara

On July 21, a new chapter officially launched on Cypress College as CARP Cypress. Operating under the larger branch of CARP Los Angeles, this new chapter provides a hub for those who live or attend universities south of the larger LA area.

This event not only contributes to CARP LA’s goal of opening seven chapters by December 2017, but starting CARP Cypress was also a major breakthrough for Joshua Holmes (21) and his team of five who made it happen.

The groundwork for CARP Cypress started in January 2017 when Joshua connected with Kodan, the parental advisor group for CARP LA, and started to share the Unification Principles with students on campus. He was paired with Kodan’s Maiko Shimogawara who will serve as the parental advisor to CARP Cypress.

To Joshua, this was a huge commitment. He is a part time student at Cypress College as well as a full time student at California State University, Long Beach, which are about ten miles apart. He would commute several days a week to talk to students about the Unification Principles, even just between classes. Finally, last April, Joshua felt he had enough foundation to establish a campus chapter.

The challenge didn’t end there. Despite his commitment to CARP and the need for this organization on campus, Joshua still held back.

Joshua and his small team of students and Kodan supporters set a goal to establish the chapter before the end of the spring semester.  They needed to get 15 student signatures and one faculty advisor. Even though they got all the signatures, they could not get a professor on board within the last two months.

“Maiko-san [Japanese honorific] pushed me a lot, but I hesitated a lot.” – Joshua Holmes

Fortunately, they were able to at least cement a core team for CARP Cypress.

The Vice President of the chapter is Ori Rodriguez, who was introduced to CARP in September 2016 and was inspired by the Unification Principles. The other members of the team include Isaac Takeu, Joshua’s roommate, Harumi Muranaka, a transfer from CARP Pasadena in LA, and Jinka Kawasaki, a recent graduate of the gap year leadership training program called the Generation Peace Academy (GPA), which is a CARP-affiliated organization.

A turning point for Joshua and his team was their participation in the International Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea, Mother Moon’s Peace Starts With Me Rally, and the CARP Momentum Leadership Retreat.

Mother Moon’s guidance during their trip abroad and then at the rally encouraged all the members of CARP Cypress to step up and take responsibility. Her sincere urging to all the young people to rise up and bring America to a new level of leadership for world peace moved their hearts. They determined CARP Cypress must be chartered in the upcoming fall semester.

“Individually, [when] we created a relationship with True Mother, we could center on the core vision [for CARP].” – Joshua Holmes

Following the exchange trip, Joshua and his team felt the call to unite with CARP’s vision and to step up back home.

With three days left of summer classes and very few professors around, the CARP Cypress members talked to every professor and received confirmations from not one but two professors in just two days.

As of this last task, they successfully finished all the requirements necessary to establish a CARP chapter on campus this fall.

During the recent CARP Momentum Leadership Retreat, Joshua and Ori were proud to share about their success and were further inspired by the success of other chapters. Two days after the retreat, the core team held their very first CARP Cypress meeting and marked it as their official start date.

Moving forward, CARP Cypress intends to unite with CARP America and CARP LA’s larger vision of reuniting North and South Korea peacefully as a path to world peace. Inspired by the Conference on the Reunification of North and South Korea and Father Moon’s ideas of peace, CARP America made the reunification an official goal during the Momentum retreat.

Joshua had some deep insights about this issue where he expressed that communism was not truly gone; it only changed its tactic. As it was originally CARP’s mission to overcome the anti-religious, tyrannical, and oppressive communism, it is important for CARP America to once again take up that flag.

CARP Cypress wants to raise the bar for its leaders, too. With many new up-and-coming chapters, CARP Cypress wants to go beyond what’s expected of them and to become one of the best chapters in the country. They also plan to create a network of professors and students, especially with the help of their faculty advisor.

“I feel CARP Cypress is going to be very popular on campus because we are striving to be very active with the student body along with the professors as well.” – Ori Rodriguez

In the meantime, until the end of summer, Joshua is focusing on strengthening the core team. Then, the members can stand with integrity in front of professors and students and share about the Unification Principles and the fight for world peace.

“We have confidence in our cause,” says Joshua. 

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