Meet the Student: Josh

Here’s a student highlight story on Joshua Holmes from CARP L.A. 


Meet 20-year-old Josh. He’s in his freshman year at California State University, Long Beach pursuing a degree in Business at this time. Coming off two years in the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) program and hailing from the vibrant CARP L.A. community, Josh participated in a CARP Momentum workshop this past summer and launched his first year as a college student with determination and positivity.

As a contemplative, passionate, and loyal young man, Josh expresses a lot through his words. His love for public speaking is intertwined with his enthusiasm for studying and applying Unification Principles in creative ways.”

Getting Involved to Stay Connected

For many transitioning students, whether from high school or a gap year to college, it can be challenging to start this new chapter in life. Keeping this in mind, Josh was determined from the start of this school year to maintain an energetic and positive attitude toward his future and his passions.

“This past half year has been one of the most impactful in my life.”

What’s the secret to feeling this impact? Josh gets involved – in his community and on his campus. Once a week, Josh helps with the CARP L.A. witnessing initiative at Pasadena City College (a successful project spearheaded by a wonderful sister of the community, Naoko Hiraki). With his community’s youth ministry, he takes on an active role in facilitating weekly Principle study with the youth while also helping to host monthly 3-day workshops called Junction.

Josh (in the middle) with the youth at a Junction workshop

Josh (in the middle) with the youth at a Junction workshop

On campus, Josh is seeking out opportunities to become active and vocal. He speaks up in his classes and in his extracurricular activities, such as in his theater pursuits, with the intention of expressing his voice at the table and introducing even a fraction of the Unification Principles. Next semester, Josh will be joining the debate club on his campus to specifically present a case against “Christian stigmatism toward cults in America”.

Getting involved challenges Josh to put into practice what he loves and knows to be true – Unification Principles. He especially loves to practice public speaking as a form of educating.

“I want to always be someone who educates. That’s what connects me to God and to the Principles. I want to be someone who can be called on to teach. Any chance to practice and express this, I jump on it. It’s what drives me.”

Josh practicing public speaking to a youth audience

Josh practicing public speaking to a youth audience

Josh has a passion. His goal is to harness that passion for teaching in public by developing creative and compelling strategies in his public speaking for different audiences.

Coaching Is Not About the Coach

In an effort to stay even more connected to his goals, Josh has been undergoing CARP’s coaching program for the past two months. A scheduled weekly appointment with his coach has helped Josh to stay focused on his goals as he redetermined to achieve them every week with the benefit of an accountability factor.

“Coaching has helped me to not get lazy, lost, or confused and to stay on track in the direction I want to go in.”

Another benefit of coaching for Josh has been the emphasis on building habits. Simple habits like exercising daily and practicing public speaking are essential for Josh to maintain a healthy lifestyle and pursue his passion. However, the most important habit-building has been to consistently be honest with himself by communicating honestly with his coach.

“The coach is there to help me be objective. I have to look at myself objectively and be honest with where I am and what I have done. It’s sad sometimes, but it’s a beautiful habit that actually helps me grow and improve.”

The coach doesn’t tell you what to do. The coach doesn’t even need to have experienced the same things as you. Instead, the coach is there to ask the right question over and over again. This coaching pushes Josh to extend himself and “hit the wall” rather than go around it so that he can learn, grow, and improve


Attitude Makes All the Difference

Josh is a rock star who strives to speak the truth to the public and to himself. By seeking out opportunities to get involved, Josh is putting in the hours of practice it will take to become a skilled public speaker as well as a student of the Unification Principles. Coaching is helping Josh to stay focused as he monitors his development in an honest and constructive way.

CARP is inspired by Josh’s positive and determined attitude toward his own development. Finally, it’s this attitude that has spearheaded Josh to practice and share Unification Principles with any audience he encounters.

Josh with his sister and parents

Josh with his sister and parents

We reached out to Josh’s parents for their input on his awesome growth and they expressed gratitude and support for Josh’s activities.  

“Thank you for the kind words and great program. Yes, we want to support him in his desire to be active with CARP and guiding younger members of the community.  While we are investing much more into academics, we would say the CARP mentoring is of even greater value.” – Josh’s parents