Jr. Leadership Task Force members traveled from the United States and Korea to participate in service projects, leadership development workshops, cultural expeditions and an interfaith assembly in Indonesia.
One thing I realized is that we need to have the perspective of wanting the religions’ harmonization not by letting it be different and just co-existing, but by seeing beyond the identities the religions give to people and recognizing that they are all children of God. True world peace can happen only if God is in the center to really prove the most fundamental bond between us and the people in the world as brothers and sisters who have one same parent.
Jr. LTF USA member
I realized many points when we went to the village for the service project. One is that seeing each other as members of one global family is possible. We were immediately able to connect even though we met for the first time in our lives. I also realized that service really helps melt all the different cultural differences as long as we look at each other from God’s perspective.
Young adults participated in the USA Junior Leadership Task Force Workshop held from July 24 through 27. Conducted under the theme “Let’s Bring Hope to the World by Becoming Role Models who Love God and Humanity,” the middle and high school students, as well as recent graduates, participated in focused lectures, group discussions, reflection and study complete with a challenging exam to test their knowledge. Jr. LTF also had time for engaging team-building exercises and fun cultural song performances to prepare them for their upcoming international voyage of service to families in Indonesia.
Seattle, Washington: Family Peace Association’s Jr. Leadership Task Force (Jr. LTF) in the United States completed a successful five-day fundraising campaign on July 17. Participants came out inspired, moved and even more determined to contribute to the world as sons and daughters of God.
Here is what Jr. LTF had to say about their fundraising opportunity.
Every morning Jr. LTF study internal guidance with their fundraising partner to spiritually prepare for the day
“It’s not really in my character to speak out to people I don’t know, so I definitely know the mental challenge of fundraising. We talked about challenges throughout the week, but it’s only through challenge that we grow. In one sense, I’d like to believe that overcoming challenge during the fundraising allowed me to see the people and the area I live in from a new perspective. When you’re out there, you’re conveying your beliefs to complete strangers. When you’re talking to people you have to explain your beliefs and values. Opportunities like that, bottom line, are good chances to grow. It helps affirm your beliefs, conviction, motivation and faith. Fundraising is definitely a spiritual, internal exercise. Through challenges you’re able to learn and grow and figure out where you stand and be honest with yourself.” —Piljin
“My internal goal was to view things from God’s perspective and to have a positive attitude and motivation to be able to live for the sake of others… I realized that by having humility and gratitude all the time, and by serving others with true love, I was able to accomplish my goal. So, motivation of heart is so important.” —Sumika
“The last day, I invested a lot but I wasn’t making a lot of money. I was always asking ‘Why, God?’ Later, after the last run, I had sort of given up. At first I was in denial saying to myself that it was impossible. But I went on to push myself four more hours past the last run and actually finished my goal. I learned to never give up, even to the very end.” —Taejin
Sunny shares her testimony at the end of a long day of fundraising
“It was challenging but I realized that these conditions and jungsung actually has to be done for there to be blessing. And not 100%, but 110% has to be made.” —Sunny
“We thanked God before knocking at every door and felt extremely thankful even if they only opened the door. It was a truly amazing experience… We went to every door in the apartment, not wasting any time, and continued working extremely hard. I felt extremely thankful to God that everything turned out well in the end. The realization is that you really have to try your best in every person and keep a good attitude and then fortune will come.” —Pilsung
“We were there fundraising as a representative of God, not just as a person raising money for some workshop. For God, every single one of the people we met today are the children of God, and He must have invested so much into their lives, so for God, He would really, really want to talk to them. If we are able to do that for Him, that’s just the best reason to go up to them and talk to them. That put me into perspective.” —Ohnshim
Jr. LTF takes to the streets to tell people about upcoming projects and fundraise for the latest service opportunity
“We were told in the last run to make it count, to set all 100% of our internal mind on God. I felt like that was a really important part, and I tried my best with it, and I realized that the external part of making money is not as important as the internal part, because if the internal part is right, then the external naturally follows.” —Hyangbok
“I tried my best, thinking that whenever I saw someone, I wanted to go to as many people as I could as a representative of God. Because everyone is a child of God, I wanted to somehow— even if they reject me— at least maybe I could help them have some kind of impact through me. I was hoping that impact could spread.” —Masaya
“My internal goal was to not be fearful and not hesitate but my overall goal for this whole fundraising was to stay focused and positive. When I finally took that final step and really tried to give it my all, that was when I was able to get results and proof that I was working hard. It shows how consistent attitude really helps a lot when you’re trying to accomplish something.” —Pilchul
“Academics alone do not define your success…Now is the time to take pride in your feats and to revel in your future; but do not get complacent. What you really need to do is believe in yourself and get moving.” -Yoo Shin Tanai
This June, the Family Peace Association community in New York/New Jersey had the opportunity to celebrate the success of high school graduate Yoo Shin Tanai.
According to those close to him, Yoo Shin’s passion for service and leadership on top of his academic aptitude is what makes him so successful. Throughout his time in high school, Yoo Shin helped coordinate volunteer projects with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, played improvised jazz piano at local cafe with his best friends, traveled to St. Louis, MO for a robotics competition and Houston, TX for a science research competition, was a CVA (Core Value Academy) teacher, and participated in many other activities including school plays, swimming, cross country, biking, and hiking.
Yoo Shin and family at Ossining High School Graduation
Referred to by his father as a “super high schooler,” Yoo Shin graduated with honors as his class salutatorian, delivering heartfelt congratulations to his peers and a message of determination to not be complacent even in celebration.
“Academics alone do not define your success… There are so many things in our lives that we cannot control: the place we are born, our family situation, the political climate, and whatever else the world throws at us. But how we deal with those environmental factors is what distinguishes us from everyone else. Being Japanese-American has greatly influenced my life and has left me in between two different cultural spheres. When I went to Japan, I was considered American; here I am considered Asian. I didn’t choose to be born to two Japanese parents in America but I am truly grateful and it has defined who I am.
Each of us have our own stories and backgrounds and life will throw challenges at us but after maturing, I’ve realized that I have been extremely blessed to be proficient in another language and to understand a vastly different culture. Deciding to see my background as a valuable lesson has strongly shaped my attitude to all sorts of issues. Our individual experiences interwoven into a collective enables us to understand varying perspectives. Each of us has things that make us feel distanced or isolated from everyone else, but it’s important to get over those differences.
Now is the time to take pride in your feats and to revel in your future; but do not get complacent. What you really need to do is believe in yourself and get moving. Our next challenge is how to contribute to society, whether it is through college, getting a job, or serving our country. But recognize that life is going to throw old lemons at your face and you’re not going to make good lemonade with them. Pick them up, clean up the mess and throw a smile back on your face.”
Seattle, Washington: Ten middle and high school students demonstrated their passion for God-centered leadership today at the kickoff for a fundraising campaign as part of Junior Leadership Task Force (Jr. LTF).
Kenshu Aoki talks about spiritual growth and leadership
As a leadership training program, Jr. LTF is a Family Peace Association platform that incorporates cognitive, experiential and spiritual education while encouraging candidates to apply those lessons to their daily life.
Kenshu Aoki introduced the theme of the fundraising project, “Taking Ownership over my Leadership Training.” He emphasized the importance of challenge to personal growth, explaining how fundraising not only contributes a great service to those in need, but also provides an opportunity to set jungsung, a sincere heart to live for the sake of others.
Fundraising also provides individuals with a unique opportunity for self-discovery. “You can grow your character through fundraising” said Kenshu. “For example, You might find yourself getting frustrated at your partner for some reason. In that moment, you can either get upset or see it as an opportunity to grow your love and patience for others. It teaches you lessons for life.”
Jr. LTF prepares for a week of fundraising with handmade boxes
In preparation for the fundraising campaign, Jr. LTF practiced by role-playing with their teammates. Partners worked together to carefully assembled products and portfolios before a quick fundraising run to kick-off the campaign.
Jr. LTF USA fundraisers will spend a week raising money to support villages in Indonesia. FPA will partner with organizations that combine solar technology with clean water solutions, education, income generation and public-private partnerships to improve the overall quality of life in impoverished communities.
Jr. LTF members from around the world will join the full ten-day program in Indonesia starting on July 30.
CVA Principal Maruko Breland asks students if they are ready to graduate
Students, teachers, parents and Family Peace Association staff and volunteers came together on June 25 to celebrate the completion of another year for Core Values Academy (CVA). Children from CVA Kindergarten through Grade 6 participated in the graduation ceremony for CVA Elementary with songs, presentations of what they learned, and gifts for the volunteer teachers, without whom CVA could not have happened. FPA USA President, Mr. Howard Self, asked students what they learned and received an array of responses. One student reminded her classmates about the theme of the year saying, “We learned about taking ownership over our spiritual growth!”
Others chimed in with their insight, mentioning the lessons of teamwork, respect, and true love in living for the sake of others.
CVA will continue in the Fall for the 2017-2018 academic year. In the meantime, children and young adults will be participating in a variety of programs to nurture their leadership qualities and define their vision for our global family. Check out the Jr. Leadership Task Force and stay updated on the latest news to learn more!