The Face of Southern Charm

<<The following content is a report about one of our local CARP chapters. These series of “Chapter Highlights” are where we share the progress of one location to others in our network.>>


The Face of Love, Care & Charm

Monika Rotondo is a graduate student in the field of Speech Pathology and thus it’s fitting that the first CARP gathering she hosted was on the theme of “Life Purpose.” She is going after a career that will most likely bring a profound level of fulfillment in improving the quality of life in her area of interest. Also fitting the southern belle is her care for her friends she considers family – so much so she hosted the kick-off CARP event in home sweet home. This is how the Alabama chapter started. Simply. Based out of Friendship. With Love. With Care. With the natural southern charm found in Alabama. 

 Start Simply

Towards the end of 2014 Monika hosted a small and intimate gathering of college-aged peers she had grown up with to shake things up a bit. It’s always a good idea to feed people first before sharing something new. Then of course what kind of food is better than Mama’s home cooking? Although the group that gathered had gathered many times before, Monika introduced the CARP model she participated in and experienced at CARP’s National Convention earlier that summer. The interesting thing is that although you can “know” someone for a long time, it’s interesting the surprises you come across when you sit down and ask the right questions.

Asking the Right Questions

By using the simple start-up resources which include a short recorded video of a “CARP talk,” particularly one on “Purpose,” the group began to go deep and ask questions that may not normally come up in normal conversation. In groups of 2 or 3 they engaged in a “thought-provoking and fruitful discussion.”

“What’s your passion?”

“What’s your strength?”

“Why are you striving for your chosen career/job?”

“How can you contribute to the world through that career?”

 It Starts With a Conversation 

With such a beautiful experience, can you imagine what happened next? The desire to grow the relationships and kindle the community of support sparked interest to meet again, even beyond the regular meetings. Regular socials are encouraged and are part of the CARP model so as the group put it, “we could actually be like friends and feel more comfortable sharing about our personal lives to each other.” What a great suggestion! 

It’s as Simple as That

Really. That’s it. That’s what CARP is all about – a community of peers that connect on what’s important to them and how to apply it in their lives. Share with your friends what you love to do, what you’re excited about and get together around that. Part of discovering who you are and what your purpose is is to JUMP IN! Try new things. Be open to different perspectives and learn from each other. After all, who among us was given a manual to this thing called life? Perhaps that’s the mystery and thrill of it – that it’s a pursuit and journey that each of us have to take for ourselves. Thankfully, we don’t have to go at it alone. Reach out and create a community that supports the best in you. The best part is that a community starts with a conversation. It starts with someone charming…really though it starts when someone shows that they care.