Meet Carina Mendez from CARP Uruguay

Here’s an interview with one of the international student winners of a sponsorship to visit CARP Los Angeles.

In July 2016, there was a ‘Global Top Gun Youth’ workshop organized in Korea where youth from 63 nations gathered for leadership training and education. At this workshop, FFWPU Continental Director for North America, Dr. Kim, offered to sponsor two international students to visit one of the CARP centers in America in an effort to promote cultural exchange. After an application and selection process, two final candidates were chosen from Uruguay and the Philippines. Here is a little bit about the finalist from CARP Uruguay.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Carina Mendez and I am 19 years old. I’m currently studying Communications at the Uruguay National University. My father is Uruguayan and my mother is Brazilian. I have one younger brother currently enrolled in a one-year fundraising and outreach program in Argentina. 

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My family – my brother, father, mother and myself.

I like every kind of sport. I play guitar but I’m not so good with music. I like to read. I love watching Korean dramas and my most recent hobby is making short movies. My dream is to make professional films or series through which we can teach stories from the Divine Principle book. I also take care of the youth in my community by organizing workshops and other activities for them to engage in.

What is CARP like in Uruguay? What kind of activities have you done with CARP?

CARP in Uruguay is still a relatively small group but we are slowly growing and expanding. We meet up every week and discuss how our week was, the challenges we faced, and then we read some words from Father and Mother Moon and share our goals for the upcoming week together.

We also get together to do other activities such as clean up the church before Sunday Service and then we also take on various responsibilities such as music, lighting, emceeing, greeting, etc. for the Sunday Service.

We often help out with other events organized by the Universal Peace Federation.

We also run workshops for middle and high school students, Divine Principle workshops for guests, and we practice giving Divine Principle lectures, too.

Why did you decide to be a part of CARP?

Once I entered college, it was natural for me to become engaged with CARP. I felt like it was the right place and time for me to make a contribution by being a part of this organization. I want to help in the realization of God’s dream and change other people’s lives with the Divine Principle. I want everyone to feel the culture of heart in CARP.

What is the most memorable activity that you did with CARP and why? What did you learn from it?

Last July, I prepared a youth seminar for middle and high school students. It was so difficult for me to take care of everything alone. I really felt that I needed to grow and develop more in order for me to become better equipped to take on this responsibility. That is why I decided to go to the ‘Global Top Gun Youth’ workshop in Korea.

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Me on the Peace Road in Korea where I had the pleasure of representing my country.

At Top Gun, I thought, “Well, I came here to learn how to take care of middle and high school students but they are talking all the time about CARP. Maybe God is trying to tell me something.”

With that in mind, at the next middle and high school workshop in December, I worked together with the CARP team in Uruguay. They helped me a lot with everything. This workshop helped to bring us closer together as a team. So much so that we ended up preparing another seminar together where we did the lectures and everything. Through this experience, I learned that CARP has a lot to offer and that in order to accomplish something big, we have to work together. I learned that if you work as a team, everything is lighter and more fun.  

Have you ever been on an exchange program? If yes, where and what did you do?

I went to the Global Top Gun workshop in Korea in 2016. And I also went to Kodiak, Alaska for the National Ocean Challenge Program in 2015. Then, I also did a one-year fundraising and outreach program in Argentina. 

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My father and I participating in the Ocean Challenge program in Kodiak, Alaska.

Do you think it is valuable for students to do an exchange program? What did you gain from the exchange?

I think to have an open mind we absolutely need exchange programs. You can always learn from other countries and their experiences in the providence. From my experience with exchange programs, I was able to learn new ideas and different ways to do the same thing. Thanks to that, I could change and try new things in my own country. That is good because when you spend a lot of time doing the same thing in the same way, you eventually end up  uninspired and bored. But when you go out and see different realities, you can get new inspiration to change your own reality.

What are you most looking forward to on this trip to CARP Los Angeles?

I want to see what a CARP chapter in America is like and how it functions. It will be good to learn from our older brothers and sisters who have more experience than us. But the thing I most want is to find a spiritual child in America. I will do my best for that! And finally, I have to admit my enthusiasm in going to Los Angeles is also because that’s where every Hollywood movie begins. That is a dream to me!

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What do you hope to gain and bring back to your own local CARP chapter?

I really hope to be able to gain the tools that will allow CARP Uruguay to develop more quickly. Through this experience, I hope to bring back with me some new ideas and ways to work more efficiently and effectively. 

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Starting Up on Campus

Here’s a student highlight story on Jungseuk Yoo from CARP Buffalo.

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Meet Jung, an optimistic, friendly guy and a constant learner who just started a CARP chapter on his campus at the State University of New York at Buffalo. A junior studying Psychology, Jung is passionate about people and how people think and is always working to expand his understanding on the subject.

As someone born and raised in the Unificationist faith, Jung was always inspired by the founders’ words and ideals about the world especially the ideal of one global family under God. Upon entering his third year of university, Jung set out to find a platform by which he could share this ideal with his fellow university students.

“CARP is an organization that focuses on helping people to mature. I wanted to have something in place to help college students mature and do better for their future.”

After engaging with CARP for the first time at a STEP UP workshop in Las Vegas last summer, Jung felt guided by CARP and decided to start up CARP Buffalo on his campus.

So, What’s the Motivation?

Jung has two distinct motivations for starting up a CARP chapter on his campus.

One, Jung wants to create a space for people to give and receive love. His experience growing up in the Unificationist faith with Unification Principles was a positive one as he recalls a loving and nurturing environment.

“Living my entire life in this community, the focus was always on loving each other. My motivation now is to help college students to receive that same kind of love.”

In a world that doesn’t easily love, Jung wants to build something that can transmit his experience of unconditional love to others around him.

l1470012Jung participated in the Unificationist Marriage ceremony (the Blessing) last March 2016, a tradition of eternal love. 

Two, Jung wants to leave a legacy. In thinking beyond his stay at the University at Buffalo, Jung envisions leaving behind a successful club that will be able to guide future students.

“Upon graduation from college, I want to leave something behind where future college students can continue to mature themselves. CARP is a good platform because it’s something that anyone can be part of to gain something and learn about the idea of maturity.”

Jung’s legacy would be that of growing the CARP mission “to inspire and empower students to be global citizens by engaging them in the study and application of Unification Principles.” The Unification Principles are a guide to developing a holistic, mature human being with values rooted in loving others and contributing to a world of peace.

Keeping the Eye on the Ball

First order of business for Jung was to find out how to register a club on campus. The form turned out to be simple enough – he just needed ten people to sign up with him and an adviser for the club.

img_7788University at Buffalo students walking on campus during fall semester. 

Though Jung is someone who enjoys sharing and talking with people and had a desire to share his CARP Buffalo vision, this task still had its challenges.

“It could have taken me less time, but I hesitated a lot because of the negativity.”

In reaching out to other students and potential advisers, Jung encountered some negative feedback because of CARP’s association with the Unification Movement. Instead of throwing in the towel, Jung received every feedback, positive and negative, and worked to incorporate them into his vision for CARP Buffalo.

Some of the negative feedback expressed that CARP seemed too religious. Jung felt this narrow-minded view was limiting CARP Buffalo’s potential for connecting people.

“CARP Buffalo is not about religion. It’s about the idea of maturity – how to achieve true maturity – and connection. People want to feel connected to one another and that’s what this club has to offer.”

With the help of the CARP coaching program, Jung set a weekly goal to talk to at least three people about his CARP Buffalo vision and to hear their thoughts. In the end, Jung found ten students willing to join and a professor to support the club as its adviser.

Accomplishing the Attainable

Like so many of us, Jung had an inspiration. He wanted to create a space on his campus wherein students could connect around the unifying principle of wanting to become the best versions of themselves, or to put it more curtly, to mature.

With clear motivations rooted in his desire to establish something for a greater good, Jung could be open and aware of the opportunities to actualize that idea. Meeting CARP in Las Vegas was that opportunity that led him on the path of establishing his own CARP chapter. And he had CARP’s continuous support in the form of coaching to accomplish this realistic goal.

Jung’s hard work in establishing the club started to come to fruition as he organized CARP Buffalo’s first meeting earlier this December. There, he encountered enthusiasm from the participants as he explained CARP Buffalo’s vision and how it plans to engage the student body next semester.

20161202_222940Jung and CARP Buffalo members enjoying Korean melona ice cream after their meeting.

“It feels great!”

Yes, it feels great to work for something you believe in and to accomplish a long-standing goal. With personal grit and community support (from friends and CARP HQ), Jung accomplished not the unimaginable and inconceivable, but in fact, a very realistic, attainable goal.

CARP is inspired by Jung’s dedication to his goals and encourage him to continue to strive for bigger and greater things in his studies and in his interaction with people in his CARP chapter. 

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“Healthy Relationships” by Alban Gaval

He’s the CARP President at his college, he helped coordinate and host the NY Regional Training gathering 5 CARP chapters together last month, he’s the eldest of 7 children, AND he wants to make a difference in the world. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

Learn more about this awesome guy with this week’s featured Student Spotlight!

 
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“Integrity” by Eric Roschuni

This week for our CARP Student Spotlight, we’re featuring…

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ERIC ROSCHUNI. He is a business student attending Prince George’s Community College and is transferring to the University of Maryland, College Park this fall. He’s an avid reader and is committed to self-improvement – he’s even been working on mastering his own time management system! His CARP talk reflects his great story-telling and entertainment ability (did you know he has the special ability to make trumpet sound effects? So cool!). He challenges us to think about Integrityis it doing the right thing…or doing the thing right?

See Eric’s CARP Talk on Integrity HERE.

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