CARP Chapter Highlight: PennState

<<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.>>


Here’s the great thing about great ideas – you can’t forget them. 

Even though CARP already has a strong community chapter of young professionals in Philadelphia, students at Penn State University took the challenge of starting a new chapter on campus. For them, the decision to create a CARP chapter was a natural one. Club President, Leighton DeGoede, shares: 


“Throughout last semester, every week after working on team projects, we kept getting into these deep conversations about life, spirituality, relationships and all sorts of stuff. Eventually the idea started to form that we should create a club where the whole point was to make a space for students to connect on a deeper level, beyond academics and careers. Eventually at the end of the semester we just made it happen. I knew about CARP was already an established national club that would work well for our vision. And then we got our adviser, Dr. Bowers, talked with Kelly Ann, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, and got our club officially made.”

It Starts with a Conversation

Naturally, we yearn for meaning and purpose. We yearn for a place to just be. To discover. Explore. Be part of something bigger. The students at Penn. State Berks campus created that space…just because they could. They created it because they were inspired, empowered and excited by their interactions and spur-of-the-moment insights. By coming together, the collective wisdom impacts and touches each person. There is beauty in coming together and supporting each other in a meaningful community of peers. As they say, it only takes a spark (to get a fire going). 

CARP Members preparing marketing materials for their club.

CARP Members preparing marketing materials for their club.

Facing Reality

Like any other new and exciting initiative, progress requires determination and commitment. They have faced a few hiccups in getting started such as coordinating schedules with the 8 or so committed founders of the club. However, what great initiative was stopped just because of something as trivial as scheduling? CARP @PennState Berks is out to do amazing things, create authentic connections, and offer something meaningful. Despite the technical challenges, they remain optimistic as their club is a fairly new club on campus and “is getting stronger.” The story of their quick progression to an official club is quite remarkable and definitely a club to take notice of. In the words of the iconic Henry Ford sharing on success and teamwork:

 “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

 To Gather People, Bring Food

While sharing about their recent orientation, Leighton writes, “the orientation turned out to be great despite the low numbers, complimented by our provided hoagies, iced tea and lemonade from our approved budget funds. The 30-though-provoking-questions activity stimulated a lot of fun and meaningful conversations, and the general feeling among the officers was optimism.”

The members at CARP @ Penn State Berks feel that the time and effort required in starting a CARP club was well worth it. Because they believe in the potential of this club, their next officer meeting will focus on marketing and how to bring new members to the club. They really want to “share our vision and experience with more students.”

 Oh, the Places You’ll Go

On a final note, Leighton shares that “at this point, we have high hopes for what can develop. The sky is the limit really. We’ll share more about this as we continue to grow and expand.” To learn of more updates from CARP @ PennState Berks, visit their Facebook page here.