USA: Kicking Off the New School Year with Momentum

by Jennifer Pierce, CARP USA

To prepare for another semester of standing for the Principled Perspective on campuses, student leaders from around the country were invited to join “Momentum: Student Leader Training” retreat hosted by the National Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP).

This year, two Momentum retreats took place back-to-back on the East Coast (from August 4 to August 7 in Barrytown, NY) and the West Coast (from August 9 to August 11 in Los Angeles, CA). By providing two locations with different dates, we served over 100 participants with an experience that empowered leaders to feel confident and prepared for the semester.

To promote CARP’s culture (a culture of heart), we incorporated games and prizes to reinforce principled behavior. The ‘Brand Ambassador’ award went to the student who had the best social media posts during the workshop. The ‘#conversationsthatmatter’ award went to the students who completed the entirety of a bingo sheet with nine conversation starters (try it yourself! Click here).

Each chapter also received a beautifully-designed banner to use on their campuses to promote a principled culture and CARP activities.

The Momentum training incorporated lectures and discussion on principled content and application, including practical leadership training. In addition, numerous guest speakers joined for different parts of the program to show their support for the CARP student movement. Representatives from Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, Rev. Demian Dunkley, Rev. Larry Krishnek, Rev. Mark Tengan, thanked participants for their dedication and inspired students with stories. CARP alumni, Naokimi Ushiroda and John Redmond, shared about their time in CARP and their hopes for the future.

New Curriculum Content

Following January’s Curriculum Intensive, content developers, Dr. Robert Beebe (also a National Board Director) and Christine Froehlich, worked with our spring semester interns to create five new presentations: Confusion in the Western Value System, Universal Principles and Life Goals, Business Ethics, Feminism, and Conflict Resolution.

The purpose of these presentations was to articulate CARP’s culture and beliefs to a collegiate audience. This resource will help students be more aware of society’s current trends and find areas in which to improve its direction.

We are very proud of our content interns, Jermaine Bishop Jr. and Marcus Fuller, who co-presented on the West Coast, showcasing the model of having students present these topics. This presentation was the top rated on the West Coast!

“As our society is currently a cesspool of confusion, the [Curriculum] really provides the answer to society’s hot topics and burning questions. Even after 50 years, CARP and its practice are still relevant.” – Yuji Torikai, Freshman, University of Bridgeport

“The presentations gave me hope in impacting culture. I can see myself doing these lectures a bit down the road. It makes me want to dig deeper into the issues.” – Robert Abendroth, Sophomore, University of Maryland

“My biggest takeaway from the presentations was a sense of wanting to do something more and wanting to share what Principle means to me. It also gave me a stronger understanding of topics I would have a hard time discussing, and I now have a little more confidence in talking these subjects.” – Sooyoung Kawasaki, Sophomore, California State University, Long Beach

“My biggest takeaway was the fact that most of the conclusions were centered on true love. We do not see true love in society very often; however, I am more inspired to portray God’s love on campus to help people receive and taste how unconditional love can change their lives.” – Hayato Shigeta, Sophomore, Pasadena City College

Leadership Training

The leadership breakouts were facilitated by CARP staff members and focused on creating principled habits, communication, campus impact, and teamwork. These sessions addressed different aspects of being a student leader. The first one, Principled Me, was about daily habits that strengthen leaders as individuals led by CARP President, Teresa Rischl. In this session, students did goal setting and vision casting for themselves. With the help of our new CARP Planner, every student leader was able to think about where they want to be three years, one year, and one month from now. You can order a planner for $12 plus shipping by emailing admin@carplife.org.

The Communication breakout was split into two parts: the first part, led by Jinil Fleischman, CARP’s Program Coordinator, talked about becoming a spiritual mentor to others. Part of the mission of a leader is to be an effective mentor. Jinil shared his own experience and shared some practical tips on how to be an effective mentor. The second part, led by Jennifer Pierce, CARP’s Communications Coordinator, was about becoming a Brand Ambassador. Jennifer shared why and how each student can become an effective brand ambassador using social media.

On the West Coast, we had the pleasure of having Bento Leal, Author and Relationships Skills Trainer, lead the Communication breakout. He guided our students to become better, empathic listeners. For the West Coast participants, that was one of the top highlights. 

“I was able to learn the most from practicing communication. The fact that I saw progress within myself in just one session of practice gave me a spark of hope for my future.” – Anonymous

The Campus Impact breakout discussed various ways a chapter could impact their campus, from setting up a table to hosting a large events. Participants chose to go in depth in smaller groups focusing on laying a spiritual foundation on campus or hosting larger impact events. 

The Leadership breakout, led by Teresa, focused on chapter development. Many chapter leaders came with other representatives of their chapter which allowed them a chance to reflect about what kind of support their chapter already has and to make plans for the next year.

“These breakouts gave me the space to think about how I want to improve myself, and, based on this foundation, it motivates me to plan bigger things, such as coming up with the idea for a campus impact event.” – Yasutaka Ozawa, Junior, Rutgers University

“Teresa mentioned how even just one person can make an impact, and even though there might be just one of us on campus, we are making an impact because through us God can be there. It was really encouraging and moving to hear.” – Sasha Okon, Sophomore, Montclair University

“Reflecting about myself and my habits is a great way to prepare for a new semester and to be a leader. Listening to other people’s ideas for their chapters was pretty inspiring too. It inspired me to do more in my chapter.” – Iasmin Lumibao, Senior, University of Bridgeport

“My biggest takeaway from these breakouts is the realization that there is so much more that our El Camino team could do on our campus to impact the faculty and students there.” – Kyosei Nagai, Sophomore, El Camino College

Ready for the New Semester

The highlight of Momentum was seeing other students and CARP leaders face-to-face. Hearing their stories and testimonies inspired them to take on the new semester.

“This whole experience was amazing and it definitely created more momentum in preparation for the upcoming semester. I felt extremely supported through the process of creating a vision and learning about the curriculum” – Jinka Kawasaki, Sophomore, Cypress College

“I’m truly grateful for this experience, to be able to see more issues in a principled light and to connect with others around the nation. This has been an incredible experience, thank you all for everything!” – Alicia Kuhlmann, Junior, Utah

Both East and West Coast participants would strongly recommend the Momentum Retreat for CARP leaders. We’re looking forward to a great year! Stay tuned for this year’s victories!

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