Posts Tagged ‘student spotlight’

An Interview with Sarah Takhar

Here’s an interview with a returning participant of the International Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are currently doing, including your involvement with CARP or youth activities.

I am a full time student at Pasadena City College studying Early Childhood Development to become an Elementary School Teacher. I work as a tutor part time at a middle school.

I am also a Board member for the PCC Chapter of CARP. My position on the board is one of the event coordinators. I help to create events for the members to learn and practice the seven principles. Every month as CARP we try to do one fundraising, social, and community service event. 

2. What were 3 highlights of your trip to Japan last year?

Learning about how CARP was started and its purpose was very impactful for me. It’s easy as a local chapter that just started off to think of CARP as what is being created in the community. I remember thinking that I and the other board members were creating CARP. When in reality CARP has existed and had a purpose for a lot longer than our local chapter. Learning the history helped me to see a bigger picture and connect PCC to that picture.

Being able to connect to CARP students from Japan, Korea, and even other parts of America was a really great experience. It showed me that even though we are all doing the same thing we have very unique ways of getting to our goal. Also that even though we are all different and far apart we are all trying to achieve the same thing and we’re all working together. I loved the brotherhood/sisterhood ceremony we did because it really made this point clear to me.

Lastly, being put into groups of Japanese, Korean, and American CARP students and going out to get to know each other was so much fun! We were in groups of about seven people and got to choose what activity we wanted to do all together and afterwards we stayed at a CARP house and had dinner. It was a great experience because we got to be in small groups and really grow closer. 

3. Did you learn something new/ gain a new perspective after the trip?

I gained a greater perspective on the importance of CARP. Before the trip I thought it was something to do because it was the thing that was being done. I did not really see the significance or value of it. Through this trip I saw how valuable CARP is for myself and my community. This is the place that I can learn about and practice living in God’s family. CARP teaches me how to be a better person and how to care for others. I also saw how valuable it is to give God’s word to people who have never heard it, how it can make such a big improvement to someone’s life and turn it around. 

4. Were you able to implement or apply some of the things that you learned either in your personal life or as part of your CARP chapter’s strategy?

I was able to apply my new perspective into what I do in my local CARP Chapter. Now when we plan events or meetings or strategy, I don’t think of just PCC CARP. I try to think about Japan, about Korea, and how what we do here connects to them – how we can work with them, too. 

5. Why did you decide  to go again this year?

Last year I went because I was invited and CARP LA was planning it. I was able to gain a lot still, but not make really good use of my trip there. This time I want to go to really learn about the other CARP groups and inherit from them so I can share that with PCC CARP.  

6. What are you most looking forward to on this year’s trip?

I’m looking forward to seeing people from last year, meeting new people, and really experiencing the spirit of CARP.

7. Would you recommend this trip to your friends? If yes, why?

Yes, because it is a great way to learn and to grow. True Mother shares often about the need for CARP, the need for educated youth. This trip is a way to understand more deeply her heart as well as start to go on the way she is asking university students and youth to go. Even if you are not in CARP I see it as a great way to be educated and connect to True Mother’s heart. 

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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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Feeding a Starving Community

Here’s a student highlight story on Kristin Anthonis from CARP Kansas.

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Meet Kristin, an enthusiastic communicator with an entrepreneurial spirit and a global edge. She is only 23 years old and has already developed a youth and young adult ministry in her Kansas community while attending university with a plethora of international experience under her belt.

Daughter to a Belgian father and an American mother, born in New York with a number of childhood years spent in Uruguay, Kristin comes from a diverse background. As a student of Dietetics, Kristin hopes to become a registered dietitian and help people nurture their external and internal well being.

familyFamily photo (left to right): mother, Kristin, brother, and father. 

Following two years at Generation Peace Academy (GPA), Kristin started thinking about how she could care for her community.

“Two core organizations that make a community function well are youth and young adult groups.”

From Momentum to Engagement

Kristin assumed the role of Youth and Young Adult Pastor after completing GPA in June 2014. She found that she was trying to feed a “starving” community.  

“We have these kids and no one is taking care of them.”

In August of 2014, Kristin decided to attend a CARP Momentum event, which is an international convention for college students to develop personal confidence and clarity, practical skills, and gain a support network. Momentum 2014 was an inspiring and memorable experience.

momentum_2014Group photo at the conclusion of CARP Momentum 2014. 

“This was the first CARP convention I had ever been to and it was impacting, with a lot of wonderful activities. I was really inspired, but I didn’t think I had the means to start my own chapter on campus, so instead I focused on the youth and young adults in my faith community.”

With a newfound inspiration from the convention, Kristin set out to establish a youth program for the kids and a young adult ministry called YAM. She initiated all this as she was starting to attend college that Fall.

Kristin organized monthly youth meetings with the support of the National Youth Pastor, Kaeleigh Moffit, who had set up a system and resources for youth pastors across the country to implement.

While Kristin had a support system for her youth program initiative, she didn’t have many resources to develop and sustain a young adult ministry. 

momentum_2016Kristin (middle) listening to a presentation during CARP Momentum 2016. 

In January 2016, Kristin decided to attend another CARP Momentum event to find inspiration and support for her YAM initiative especially. There, she had some insights.

“I got the realization that as much as I wanted to set up a CARP chapter the way it is typically done on a campus setting, I felt our YAM community could really benefit from implementing CARP principles, even if I had to change the image of CARP a little bit.”

So, she set out to convert YAM into a CARP community chapter. Similar to the youth program support system, Kristin found a wealth of resources and ideas for engaging the young adults by plugging her YAM community into CARP’s mission and principles.

kansas_CARPA young adult outing at an outdoor concert featuring Carly Rae Jepsen. 

CARP Kansas meets every first Sunday of the month. A typical meeting looks just like a CARP campus chapter meeting – the members do a check-in, a young adult member gives a CARP Talk around one of the seven Unification Principles, and then there is discussion and sometimes other activities.

These CARP meetings are open to college-aged young adults. On average, seven or eight young adults gather at these monthly meetings and sometimes someone will bring a friend. 

Balancing Life with Coaching

Accountability is key to maintaining consistency. In starting up her community CARP chapter, Kristin decided to get CARP coaching for greater accountability.

A weekly coaching session for three months helped Kristin to jump back into the public sphere after some months of not initiating meetings for the youth program or CARP. “As time passes, it gets more and more difficult to start up again,” but coaching really helped Kristin to re-determine herself to her public mission.  

Balancing studies, relationships, and a public mission to engage the youth and young adults can be challenging, but achievable.

“Through coaching, I realized I needed to share responsibility with others. I learned the value of trusting people, that interdependence is a higher value than independence.”  

dresden_germanyKristin biking through Dresden, Germany in Summer 2016. 

It’s important to maintain a healthy personal lifestyle in order to consistently contribute to a public mission. Coaching also offered Kristin the opportunity to hone in on some important personal goals that would help her maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.

This, in turn, helped to sustain her public mission to engage the youth and young adults in her community.

Love like a Global CItizen

Since GPA, Kristin has felt such a profound heart for God and Father and Mother Moon. Now, she truly wants to connect other people to that same heart and the Divine Principle teachings.

Whether someone or some community is starving spiritually or physically, they can benefit from people like Kristin who truly believe in the teachings to live for the sake of others and to love like a global citizen. 

CARP’s mission statement is “to inspire and empower students to be global citizens by engaging them in the study and application of Unification Principles.” Kristin invests a lot of her time to materializing this mission in her public work for the youth and young adults. 

kristin_peruKristin on a service trip to Peru helping to beautify a playground for the children of the community. 

The portion of the mission that Kristin is truly passionate about is the emphasis on developing young adults into “global citizens.” 

“A global citizen is someone who cares about everyone in the world as One Family Under God by doing what you can to love and serve the members of God’s family.”

Her advice is to start small. Like Father Moon always emphasized, you must conquer yourself then conquer the world. Through personal growth, we can grow our capacity to love and then truly contribute.

This contribution starts in the family, then the community, and finally the world. It’s a ripple effect.

The Unification Principles offer the tools to feed a starving person or community on campus and across the world. But practice makes perfect so it’s important to exercise these principles. 

muralA mosaic wall at a university in Honduras that Kristin helped create out of tiles which she and the service group shaped and affixed by hand.

How can you believe in One Family Under God?

“You need to travel in order to understand the greater world you live in and the experience of all members of God’s family. Only by knowing and experiencing the world can you love all of God’s children as a true global citizen and as one family.”

Practice loving like a global citizen by joining CARP on an exchange trip this spring break.

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