Contributed by Nina Urbonya
Twenty participants from Toronto, Windsor, Quebec, and Montreal gathered at the Toronto Family Church from January 28 to 29, 2017, for the latest STEP UP (Student Empowerment through Unification Principles) seminar organized by the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP).
STEP UP was launched one year ago at the national CARP Momentum workshop, and since then the two-day experience has been held in several local communities. STEP UP is a student empowerment seminar that focuses on CARP’s seven core Unification Principles, defined as “principles that can bring about unity on all levels.”
The sessions were facilitated by David Young, a CARP student coach, and Nina Urbonya, CARP’s international liaison. They led the participants through different interactive activities to get them to apply these Unification Principles in a practical way to their life. The seminar included many “pair shares,” in which participants communicated their thoughts on each principle with each other.
Testimonies from participants:
“I know things that I need to change for the better about myself and have practical steps to move in that direction.”
“I have found out more about myself and have noticed that I am becoming more confident. I also started to realize how much of an impact I can have on people by just being present.”
“It was amazing. I really feel like I changed in one day. This workshop has inspired me to go to more Second Gen workshops around the world, learn more about myself, True Parents, those around me, and try to better understand the DP and build a close relationship with my family, friends, myself and God.”
“Writing down my complaints really helped me see how much I was complaining about my dad. This insight is going to be something I think about for the rest of my life, because I don’t want to live on complaints; I want to solve them and live on joy instead.”
CARP’s mission is to inspire and empower students through the study and application of Unification Principles. Over the weekend, participants were encouraged to be open to discovering new things about themselves and to take action to create the life they want using Unification Principles.
After the last session on Saturday, everyone went out to eat poutine, a Canadian dish made up of french fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy.
Overall, 95 percent of the participants reported feeling more validated and confident in themselves after the seminar .
The CARP team and local staff thank all of the participants for an amazing experience and for investing so much time and energy during the weekend together. CARP is looking forward to the next STEP UP seminar and to implementing feedback and new ideas to continue elevating the STEP UP experience.
Many thanks to the all those who helped make this seminar a success! Thank you to CARP, Koshin Young, and Nathan Bellow for hosting and organizing this seminar in Toronto.
“Like my seat-mate said, ‘The world is mine.’ If I have the freedom to actually make an impact, WHY NOT! Because the universe gives you what you ask for. So just keep asking for it! I personally look forward to more seminars and, in time, to be a part of the staff. Because I can do it.”
“I enjoyed it overall, I truly did. There was a great, big atmosphere of just general companionship and friendliness; everyone was happy. My only real complaint is that this workshop was too short-lived. Make it longer, please!”
“I like how you make us answer different questions and surprisingly bring all our answers together to form one sentence that really shows what you want out of life. For a visual guy like me, it was eye-opening.”
“I already believe that this is true, and I’m working toward creating my reality. It was very liberating to even think that we can achieve so much as long as we can see and believe in that happening.”