The Launch of a New CARP Chapter

Contributed by CARP Las Vegas

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On April 13th, CARP Las Vegas held its grand opening for the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) chapter. The event brought together CSN students, CARP members, local Unificationists, and eight CSN professors and faculty. 

CARP members were touched by a recent message given by Mother Moon (co-founder of CARP), where she expressed to CARP members nationwide to establish a culture of heart on their campuses.

In response to Mother Moon’s direction, CARP UNLV and CARP CSN members reached out to professors at both universities for several weeks before this grand opening in hopes to share this message.

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The members were proud to be able to share the founders’ vision for CARP and for America at the opening ceremony. 

The Grand Opening Program

With CARP UNLV president, Jinil Fleischman (read his testimony here), as emcee, the program started with a musical offering by CARP members Angelica Moraes and Kailey Teo. Angelica is a member of Apple Heaven USA and performed in Korea at Father and Mother Moon’s birthday celebration.

The two performances moved the hearts of the audience with an ode to America’s ideal.

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Following a video highlighting CARP’s past activities, the new president for the CSN CARP chapter, Chungbom Katayama, then gave a presentation on the vision for CARP and the new chapter at CSN.

He testified that Father and Mother Moon are the ones who understand the root of the problems facing society and are determined to resolve them. 

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Two CARP members followed suit in sharing their testimonies. Ryota Naito shared about how studying the Divine Principle in CARP empowered him to practice true love and make a change in his own family.

Then, Angelica Moraes testified to Father and Mother Moon’s vision to create a culture of heart in America. She shared about her struggle with the self-centered culture that she experienced, but conveyed her hope to build a heavenly culture in sharing Father Moon’s words about how America was prepared by God for this specific purpose.

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Akira and Makiko Watanabe, the directors of CARP Las Vegas, closed out the program with some concluding remarks and encouraged all the CSN faculty to be involved in teaching the youth to fight against a self-centered culture in order to create a culture of heart.

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Professors Inspired by CARP

The CSN faculty were very moved by the program and by the vision of the CARP students. One professor had to hold in her tears because she was so moved by the values that CARP stands for.

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Another faculty member expressed that the CARP students can accomplish great things.

“The testimonies given can bring hope to other students. Because you guys were able to go through the experience, you can give hope to others who may be going through the same thing.”

He was so inspired by the spirit of the CARP members that he volunteered himself to provide mentoring for the club on a weekly basis.

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A third professor, who teaches Public Speaking at CSN, was very moved by the speeches given by the students. He commented that they have a very amazing quality in their speeches, which he called “the CARP factor.”

One professor who had a CARP student in his class encouraged all of his students to skip part of his class in order to attend the opening ceremony. Many professors expressed that they are eager for the next CARP event at CSN, and are looking forward to collaborating more with the club members.

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Praise to a Successful Campaign

CARP Las Vegas has been active on the UNLV campus since August 2014. At the start of 2017, CARP students dedicated themselves to creating another Las Vegas chapter at CSN by engaging in outreach on the campus.

With sincere devotion, they were successful in their campaign to recruit enough students and find faculty advisors to establish CARP as an official club at CSN.

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The new and more seasoned members are excited for how they can continue to share the founders’ vision for the young adults at CSN and all of Las Vegas!

 

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CARP NJIT Holds Japanese Culture Festival on Campus

Contributed by David Coyne, Secretary of CARP NJIT

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On Monday April 10th, the NJIT CARP Chapter organized a Japanese Cultural Festival that was held in the NJIT Campus Center Ballroom A. The purpose of this event was to offer an opportunity for all students to learn a little bit about Japanese culture through various foods, games, and art.

The chapter had been planning this event meticulously for the past two months and received funding for all activities from the school. Thus, all food and entertainment was provided free of charge. As a result, the event garnished significant interest all throughout the campus, with over 200 students participating in activities throughout the entirety of the event.

The main attraction of the event was the various Japanese dishes and refreshments that were provided; edamame, Japanese curry, sushi, and green tea ice cream amongst others. All the food was prepared by the Japanese adults within CARP community, thus, ensuring the cultural authenticity of the meals.

Additionally, the festival itself hosted a wide range of different activities that kept students engaged for hours. The activities featured during the event were: Origami, Calligraphy, Self Portraits, Anime/Manga, a Photo Booth, Kendama, and Palm Reading.

Each of these booths were run by volunteers from the community. What appealed most to the attendees was just how engaging and unique all the activities were. This festival was not merely a showcasing of Japan, but an opportunity to truly experience different facets of the culture itself.

This was done by providing step by step examples of how to create different objects at the origami booth, teaching people drawing techniques used in anime, providing kimonos to dress in for photos, writing students names in traditional calligraphy, and much more.

The two most popular booths that had people lined up until the end were Palm Reading, and the Self-Portrait booth. One unique aspect of the Palm Reading booth was that the Palm Reader would speak Japanese, while another volunteer would translate the fortunes into English. The Japanese Self Portrait booth was just as unique, as each drawing was in a Japanese animated style.

The large interest in the event on Monday allowed the NJIT CARP Chapter to establish a greater presence on campus. Throughout the event, greeters were stationed at the front doors, providing flyers with the CARP Core Principles to spread information about the club.

In addition, throughout the event at least one core member of the NJIT CARP Club was stationed at the registration desk to provide any additional information about CARP to the attendees. 

Registration Table

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Food Tables

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Calligraphy Booth

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Palm Reading Booth

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Japanese Self Portrait/Anime Booth

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Origami Booth

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Japanese Props

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A Series of Reflections on Forgiveness

In honor of the Easter holidays, we take a look at the different facets of “forgiveness.”

5588599088_ee7f0852d0_bA sculpture of two people embracing with the title “Reconciliation.”

What could you forgive? Try to imagine the worst possible incident and imagine if you could find a way to forgive.  

Take for instance this excerpt from an essay titled “Forgiveness saves your bacon” in “Searching for SanViejo: Notes to my Younger Self,” a book of essays and observations by Larry Moffitt.

“A man steals $10,000 from the loose change basket on his father’s dresser. He flees his home and spends most of it on blackjack, vodka shooters, and fast women.

The rest he squanders.

Too ashamed to go home, he becomes a drifter. After sinking to the depths of degradation, and weary of his job tuning the piano in a whorehouse, he returns to his family home, and to his father, with a remorseful heart. He hands his father everything he has left, which is two $5 poker chips.

The father tearfully embraces the son, and orders that the fatted calf be killed for a feast. This your basic repentance and forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that was invented, simply because it had to be.” 

The concept of forgiveness wasn’t invented by Jesus, but he certainly stressed the concept of forgiving others, even your enemy, with his final words on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Forgiveness might seem like a religious concept, a task that only the most pious undertake, because it is a practice and teaching of many religious traditions. But in reality everyone stands to benefit from forgiveness, especially if you are the one doing the forgiving.

In this discussion around forgiveness in honor of the Easter holiday, we’ll introduce an aspect of forgiveness from which CARP students especially can benefit. By looking at the process of forgiveness not only from an individual level but from a group perspective, students and others can begin to embody part of CARP’s vision to become global citizens.

Benefits of Forgiveness  

9224509952_48d968c594_kFlowers starting to bloom in the springtime such as now – a symbol of renewal.

To forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake according to the Oxford Dictionary.

This process of changing one’s emotion and attitude towards an offender is actually an intentional and voluntary act that does not even require the offender to say “I’m sorry” (though it couldn’t hurt).

Here are just a few benefits of forgiveness:

  • Empowers you to keep moving forward
  • Improves your mental and physical health
  • Creates hope in your life and in the greater community

A couple of CARP students illustrate a time they have forgiven and its effect on them.

“I failed a college course many years ago and it ended up snowballing enough to lose my desired degree.  I felt like a failure and spent years barely getting by.  Thanks to my supportive parents and doing multiple reading conditions with them, I took the first steps to forgiving myself and attempting to do more.  It has taken years of recovery to get to where I am now, but I am proud of where I am and look forward to what the future brings.” – Kenei, CARP student

“The last time I forgave someone else was today, when I held the door open for this girl behind me, and she just walked right through without any acknowledgment whatsoever. In my head I was like, “Girl, please! You don’t even say thank you, or even give a simple head nod? Sheesh.” Smh (shaking my head). But then I told the story to a friend, and they said, “Maybe she was just really caught up in her own thoughts to realize you were intentionally doing something nice for her.” And then I realized the importance of not judging too quickly, considering other possible realities beyond my own, and acting with care without the expectation of receiving anything in return. So, I forgave that girl. And I forgave myself for the mistake I made of judging her.” – Kristin, CARP student

Forgiving as an Individual

Forgiveness_0001An image of “forgiving.”

It isn’t easy to forgive. Mahatma Gandhi said “the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

Just like we can train our muscles to become stronger, we can train our hearts and minds to develop a forgiving attitude. Don’t wait for someone else to say “I’m sorry.”

The process of forgiving someone else or even yourself can start with you and it’s a smart decision to develop a forgiving attitude since the benefits seriously outweigh the costs.

START training your heart and mind to regularly forgive and let go of your annoyance, anger, or resentment. Here are a few steps to try out, but an even stronger result will come from you putting in the effort to develop your own strategy for forgiving.

  • Relax your mind and heart. This might seem an impossible task when someone or even yourself has just hurt you, but you will make wiser decisions when you are calm.
  • Examine the situation deeply. Instead of ignoring the wrong that was done to you, look deeper and try to understand the situation and accept that it happened.
  • Accept your feelings. It’s crucial to not condemn yourself or even reward yourself for the feelings that follow an offense – analyze your feelings about a situation and accept them, but don’t necessarily act on them.
  • Say “I forgive you.” Try not to brush off a situation and instead communicate your feelings towards the someone that hurt you in some way. An “I forgive you” as opposed to an “It’s okay” has a much more powerful effect on both parties, too.

Forgiving as Part of a Group

Wall_of_Forgiveness_HBC_Building_after_2011_Stanley_Cup_Riot“Wall of Forgiveness” at HBC building after the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver, CA.

On an individual level, the forgiveness process isn’t easy but it’s very achievable and even somewhat commonplace since people understand the benefits of forgiveness to some extent.

Now imagine specific groups forgiving one another – a community forgiving a company that destroyed their livelihood, one race forgiving another race for the racist behavior, one nation forgiving another nation for atrocities committed.

It’s not so easy to imagine, is it?

Yet, large-scale forgiveness processes have occurred and continue to be researched. You can check out this brochure on forgiveness research findings put out by the United Nations (UN) and the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2006.

As part of CARP’s mission to inspire and empower students to become global citizens, we encourage you to think globally when considering when, where, and how to forgive.

Considering the state of the world today – terrorist activity across the globe, ideological conflicts within our countries, racial conflicts within our communities – an attitude of forgiveness could be the healing power we need.  

The benefits to forgiveness as part of group are the same to those on an individual level. As a global citizen, think of areas in which you need to change a negative attitude into a positive one towards another group and try to rectify that through the process of forgiveness.

A habit of forgiving is a tool not only for personal peace, but also for world peace.

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More than a Club, It’s a Lifetsyle

Here’s a student highlight story on Jinil Fleischman from CARP Las Vegas.

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Meet Jinil, a dedicated young student who thrives on helping other people realize their potential in meeting God. This 23-year-old junior attending University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is a founding member of CARP Las Vegas and a recent winner of the Wonmo Pyeongae Scholarship from CARP’s cofounder, Mother Moon.

Jinil was drawn to CARP Las Vegas from its inception as Akira and Makiko Watanabe pioneered the vision in the fall of 2014. Instead of enrolling in a local university in his home state of California, Jinil decided to join CARP Las Vegas in the role of President and helped shape the chapter into what it is today.

A Worthwhile Mission

Towards the end of high school, Jinil had a dwindling life of faith. Then, three years on Generation Peace Academy (GPA) gave him the opportunity to build up a relationship with God and to tap into his creativity in providing a space for other people to have a similar experience.

“GPA was a turnaround experience for me. I had one finger in the movement and then I discovered a deep relationship with God and True Parents.”

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Jinil felt a sense of calling to do something for the world after his training on GPA. In his third year of GPA especially, Jinil experienced the freedom to create and collaborate on projects and then essentially witness to the 2nd generation GPA participants.

“It was such an enjoyable and uplifting experience.”

CARP Las Vegas offered the opportunity for Jinil to continue to grow in this freedom to create and share his faith with others. Witnessing and sharing to other young college students seemed to be the next natural progression from his mission on GPA. 

A Day in the Life as President

As a first-year university student, Jinil started his career studies in Human Services and his duties as CARP President at the same time. This dynamic between his personal pursuits and his public responsibilities continues to be emotionally demanding but also extremely rewarding.

“I couldn’t think of anything more worthwhile as a student than to be part of the process of helping someone discover God.”

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There are four core team members supporting the co-directors, Akira and Makiko, in CARP LV’s activities. As president, Jinil works alongside the core team and the co-directors on every level of preparing and executing activities and taking care of the membership.

“CARP is more than a club to me. It’s a lifestyle.”

Jinil and his team will reach out to other 2nd generation as well as newer 1st generation to take on more responsibility in CARP and through the experience, grow their own life of faith. 

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Currently, CARP LV has six Core-in-Training (CIT) staff, six new members, and a similar number of intermediate and beginner members, and then 20-30 students who regularly attend CARP LV events.

With varying levels of membership in CARP LV, the core team is trained to take care of each level of membership. Jinil is constantly working on maintaining relationships within the CARP community by having personal interactions with CARP members, talking about latest challenges in life.

CARP LV has two components through which it strives to help young people – an education component and a training component.

Learning with CARP Las Vegas

Jinil has helped to shape CARP LV’s vision to raise young people to embody a selfless culture through numerous education programs. 

The education component consists of Divine Principle (DP) lectures on fundamental teachings, spiritual life hacks, and education around the purity movement (which stems from the ‘Pure Love Alliance’ tradition of CARP in the past). 

Every month, CARP LV will hold a weekend DP workshop to regularly teach new and existing CARP members how to live a life for the sake of others. Then, at the end of each semester, there will always be a 7-day workshop for a more in-depth look into the teachings of the Unification Movement.

Recently, CARP LV implemented a new education program called Tribe Talk where members meet once a week for small group discussions around a specific spiritual topic based on excerpts from Father Moon’s speeches.

Taking Action with CARP Las Vegas

The training component of CARP LV, or what they call “actionizing training,’ provides members, who have received the education portion of the program, the opportunity to put their faith to the test. This includes activities such as fundraising once a week, DP lecture contests, summer and winter break 7-day workshops, and other fun outings. 

CARP LV also often partners with other campus clubs to engage in service projects. In this way, CARP LV can grow its network and build up a reputation around the UNLV campus where they mainly operate.

With members at various stages of involvement, CARP LV tries to provide opportunities for every level of engagement from somewhat connected members to beginner and intermediate members. 

An Excerpt from Witnessing

Once a week, Jinil or another staff member will give a DP lecture and facilitate discussions around the topic. 

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As Jinil was giving a lecture on the difference between the spiritual and physical body, one attendee in the audience at least was substantially impacted.

“I was just giving a lecture on something I heard all my life.”

This one audience member took away a new notion about life after death. As someone who always had a fearful concept about the afterlife, this lecture opened up this participant’s eyes to the idea that our existence in the spiritual world is not up to God’s judgement.

“I gained a deeper appreciation for the teachings I grew up with, the depth of truth that we have, and especially the hope it could bring to others. Witnessing is just about being very interested in another person’s life with an unconditional heart and attitude. It’s caring more about a person than they care about themselves. ”

Winning the Wonmo Prize

“I feel really supported by True Mother. She cares about the young people and raising young leaders in our movement. I’m very grateful to have received this scholarship.”

This Scholarship was awarded exclusively to students in accredited educational programs and only for educational purposes. Scholarship winners are encouraged to maintain a public lifestyle while also excelling in their studies. 

CARP America is managing the follow-up program for scholarship recipients like Jinil in the following five areas:

  1. Practice a daily hoon dok hae tradition
  2. Work with a CARP staff to develop an individual plan for public service
  3. Submit 1-page written reports at the end of each semester (Spring and Fall 2017)
  4. Maintain and show proof of satisfactory academic progress
  5. Attend a life of faith workshop at least once during the next year (by Dec. 31, 2017)

With some scholarship money for tuition, Jinil feels grateful to be able to pay for his studies this semester as well as excited to focus on these five areas. 

To see more photos and activities or to get in touch with CARP Las Vegas, please visit their Facebook page.

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CARP’s New President: Teresa

We introduce the next President of CARP and former National Program Director, Teresa Rischl.

For the past three years, Teresa has been working alongside former president, Naokimi Ushiroda, as Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Program Coordinator and, in her latest role, as National Program Director.

United with Naokimi, Teresa was instrumental in raising CARP to the place it is now. Her demonstrated commitment and dedication to CARP’s mission has led her to be appointed CARP President as of February 2017, with the blessing of Mother Moon (co-founder of CARP) and the CARP Board of Directors. 

Teresa is passionate about giving young people a support system, stemming from her own experience as a college student. Growing up she was a natural leader and was concerned about creating an inclusive environment where everyone could grow together. 

Knowing the challenges that students face on campus, she is committed to offering students the opportunity to be involved in something greater than themselves and to truly discover what is important to them.

college_realmendontbuygirlsTeresa and a college classmate joining in on a social media campaign against human trafficking in 2012.   

Teresa Goes to College

Although Teresa initially intended to participate in a faith-based gap year program after high school, she felt God was calling her to go to college and volunteer with her local youth ministry.

In 2008, she enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) as a Biology major with the hopes of going to medical school someday. As a freshman, Teresa joined a co-ed professional pre-health fraternity where she gained experience and opportunity in the health field. While this afforded her a community to study and socialize with, she was surrounded by students whose motto was, “Study hard, party harder.” 

Caught between the pressures of classes, social life, and youth ministry, Teresa found herself questioning the principles she had grown up with. This is the typical experience for an emerging young adult.

A bit later, she was approached by Miilhan Stephens (the CARP chapter President at UMD at the time) and Hero Hernandez (the National CARP President at the time) to join CARP. Teresa resisted it at first but was touched by the personal care and support they offered.

425538_348561545167803_900338599_nTeresa at a CARP stand talking with a student at the club fair at UMD. 

She had also reached a point in her growth where she knew what was important to her – family, faith, and making a difference in the world. So, Teresa committed herself and stepped up as CARP President of the UMD chapter and as the Young Adult Coordinator at her local church. 

Under her leadership, CARP UMD hosted numerous events on campus including discussion forums, club fairs (where they invited ‘Mr. The Fish’ to entertain students), stress relief activities during finals week, service projects creating care packages for other students, and more.

Teresa also established a weekly ‘Divine Principle Forum’ at the local CARP center and organized trips for students to visit the CARP HQ in New York City with Victoria Roomet and others.

387796_3018390983886_266487827_nTeresa posing with the CARP mascot, Mr. The Fish, with a fellow CARP member. 

Wanting to travel, Teresa finished her undergraduate degree online, after eventually deciding to change her major to Business. She spent some time in New York City (as Program Coordinator for a summer leadership program under Naokimi before he was CARP President) and then Europe before taking a job as a nanny in Connecticut to finish her last few credits. 

Progressing through the Ranks of CARP

When Naokimi was appointed as CARP President in July 2013, Teresa connected with him about his vision and wished him luck on his new mission. Naokimi would later invite her to work part-time as an administrative assistant for CARP. 

“I wanted to help Naokimi out, but I didn’t think I would stay around as long as I did. For a while it was just the two of us as staff of CARP America.”

After CARP’s first workshop at the University of Bridgeport, Teresa became a full-time staff member, taking on the role of Executive Assistant and Secretary of the CARP Board of Directors.

Carp_officertraining_UB_2014Teresa giving a talk at the CARP Officer’s Training workshop. 

With very little staff, Teresa became a jack-of-all-trades and got experience in different areas of nonprofit management including HR, operations, strategy, membership, fundraising, communications, and more. 

CARP staff members came and went, but the organization found a firm footing in 2015 after recruiting three new staff members – Taka Sugawara, Nina Urbonya, and Justin Okamoto – from an international ‘Global Top Gun workshop. These young adults had demonstrated their competency, skill, and commitment as CARP students themselves. 

14707903_10153931075137681_5939853739702155164_oTeresa posing with the growing CARP America team in 2016. 

With a larger team in place, Teresa was promoted to National Program Director. Meanwhile, Teresa also began working towards a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Marist College. She plans to finish her master’s in nonprofit management in May 2018.

Teresa is proud of several initiatives she helped establish so far such as the Mentoring Partnership, CARP’s 50th Anniversary Celebration dinner, national ‘Momentum’ workshops including a young professionals networking component, and monthly chapter rep support calls, to name a few. 

Continuing CARP’s Legacy

Teresa is hopeful and excited for the years to come. She is committed to bringing joy and incredible success to God and CARP’s founders, Father and Mother Moon.

After collecting CARP alumni testimonies from the past 50 years, she hopes to continue and honor the incredible legacy that was created before her.

teresa-naokimiTeresa with former CARP president, Naokimi Ushiroda. 

It’s been just a month since she took on this new role and she has already visited several college campuses, researched the purpose for CARP from its founders, listened to recommendations by the community, and initiated a national call with local CARP representatives.

The only way we’re going to accomplish anything great is by working together. I think one of my strengths is in bringing people together so I hope I can contribute my skills in this meaningful and significant time.”

Stay tuned for further developments from this dynamic and powerful woman leader and the national CARP team. If you’d like to be part of the magic, email teresa@carplife.org

FUN FACT:

Teresa loves rocking out and dancing in front of the mirror when no one is watching. Her favorite tunes recently are “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara and “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake.

blessingTeresa and husband, Neil, attended the 2015 Marriage Blessing ceremony. 

Teresa and her husband, Neil, just celebrated their 2-year anniversary. They’ve both traveled extensively and settled in Bloomfield, New Jersey a year ago. Already active in the NJ community, this dynamic duo spends their ideal evening cooking and spending quality time with friends.

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