Student Spotlight: Mia Taguchi

We interviewed Mia Taguchi, a first year student at CSN working with CARP Las Vegas, about her decision to leave home and join CARP Las Vegas and about her experience in helping build Campus Talk last semester.

Mia Taguchi appreciates CARP for giving her a place to champion the principles she believes in.

Mia Taguchi appreciates CARP for giving her a place to champion the principles she believes in.

Hi everyone! My name is Mia Taguchi, and I am currently a first-year political science student at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). I’ve been with CARP for a little over six months now officially, but, really, CARP has been a part of my life since the very beginning. Both my parents had started their lives in America in CARP, and my father had actually gone on to become the director of CARP for several years in Maryland up until I was around five or six years old. I remember living at the CARP center in the early years of my life, spending Christmas with the CARP members and playing games with them every now and then. While it wasn’t a long time, the experiences I had with CARP as a child played a huge role in my life.

Mia (right) leads a discussion at the CSN Tribe Talks.

Mia (right) leads a discussion at the CSN Tribe Talks.

I first volunteered for CARP Las Vegas when I came as part of my second year on a gap year program called Generation Peace Academy. I spent a month working alongside the CARP members there, outreaching and helping with the various events that were going on. It was moving to see the incredible work that they were doing and the deep hearts of every individual who was investing their time into being with CARP. It was not easy; yet, they did everything with a spirit of love and joy. The work they were doing was truly the work of God, and I could not help but be drawn to that.

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I had always been very ambitious growing up. My greatest desire in life was to change the world and contribute to world peace. I never really knew how I would do it, but I knew it was something I deeply valued. Being surrounded by the CARP members in Las Vegas sparked a desire in me to come back and continue to support the work that CARP was doing.

To do so meant leaving behind my family, my community, and the college I was looking forward to attending in Maryland. I had no idea what exactly being a part of CARP would entail, but there was an undeniable gut feeling that led me to leave those who wanted me to stay in Maryland. There was no doubt that I could do the work of God while I was home, but I could not deny that there was something uniquely precious about the work that was being done in Las Vegas.

Mia (right) proudly reps the slogan for the third Campus Talk titled  Sexual Integrity and the Breakdown of the Family.

Mia (right) proudly reps the slogan for the third Campus Talk titled Sexual Integrity and the Breakdown of the Family.

It was clear early on in my time here that accomplishing what needed to be done in Vegas required a lot of investment and wasn’t at all going to be easy. It was always a battle of having so much to do and so little people to do it. One of the biggest events that we were putting together was an event called Campus Talk. It started out as a platform for students and teachers to simply come together and talk about important topics. (You can read about their first Campus Talk here.)

Starting from the second Campus Talk, the focus shifted to be about relationships and families and how decisions about sex impact how people relate with one another and how it affects our society as a whole. I didn’t really understand it at first. I have always valued purity, but I had a hard time seeing the impact it has on families. Having a family was never something I thought about before. Many people in my life aspired to have beautiful families and become parents, but I never did. I knew that one day I would have one, it just never crossed my mind to be excited about it.

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As my time in CARP progressed, I started to understand more and more what made the CARP in Las Vegas so special. In a city where relationships and love are taken so casually, the value of family has gotten lost. Nevada is the only state in all of America where prostitution is legal. It’s also the state that’s known for the ability to get married and divorced in the course of one day. The impact that this view on relationships has on the big issues in this city, like poverty and poor education systems, is so clear. Whilst correlation does not mean causation, it’s hard to believe that they don't connect.

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It’s grown evident to me that if I truly want to make a difference in the world, it starts with not just the individual, but the impact an individual has on the family. We live in an individualistic world that tells us that as long as we pursue what makes us happy and as long as that pursuit doesn’t “harm” another person, then it’s okay. A happy world will come about with happy individuals. But people fail to recognize that individuals have power and influence. What we do is not just what we do. The impact our actions have encompasses a whole circle of people, despite the fact that it may seem to include just one other person.

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My friends in high school were incredibly righteous. They were activists who sought out any opportunity to make things right. They taught me to see the wrongs and strive to fix it. I’m grateful for the sense of justice that my friends had instilled in me. Yet, I also know now that to create a just world requires more than providing everyone an opportunity to pursue their own happiness. We cannot seek to find only the humanity in another person - that limits their potential. We must seek to find the divinity in each person and allow people to understand the power that they have.  

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of CARP, once said, “CARP members are the vanguard in the march towards the new world that everyone desires to reach. The CARP movement is not aiming at temporary solutions to the realities of this time, but at remaking everything from the beginning.”

CARP Las Vegas publicized the Campus Talk during their weekly Tribe Talks.

CARP Las Vegas publicized the Campus Talk during their weekly Tribe Talks.

The Campus Talk movement isn’t simply an effort to fix what is wrong, but ultimately it’s about making things right from the beginning. I believe that the founders of CARP understood the value of family more than anyone. They recognize that the family is truly the cornerstone of any society. When we can resolve the issues that stem from within the family, we can prevent the wound from opening rather than constantly having to heal it.

The idea of having a family still terrifies me, but I can see that what CARP is doing is ultimately teaching people how to create good families. It’s really been through the work that we are doing in Las Vegas and understanding the horrors that come about as a result of this sexualized culture that I have begun to see this. I feel that God has really placed me here to realize the importance of family in the movement for world peace.

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My parents moved on and continue to invest in my siblings and I after their time in CARP. They poured everything into CARP so they could become the best possible parents. I believe that that is what has led me to be here today, working towards the same goal. Perhaps it didn’t begin that way at first, but I can see now that my desire to change the world is in conjunction with my subconscious desire to create a good family. World peace cannot occur without healthy families.

It’s an honor to be a part of an organization that is directly working towards the betterment of our society. To know that there are so many people who are investing so much into making permanent change inspires me to do more each day. My hope for the coming years is that the movement for family and sexual integrity can be a catalyst for healing in our society, healing that has been needed for far too long.

Mia (back right) with the CARP LV sisters during their End of Year Party.

Mia (back right) with the CARP LV sisters during their End of Year Party.

I want to sincerely thank all of you who are taking the time to make a substantial change in this world. At times, I wonder how it is possible for people to see this world and believe that change can happen, but I have come to realize that the ones who believe that change is possible are the ones who are actively making it happen. True belief in something is shown through action, and there is no doubt that through the actions of CARP members, it is clear that the possibility of change is evident. Thank you, and I wish everyone the best for their upcoming activities in CARP.

CARP Las Vegas is hosting their fourth Campus Talk on April 13th. They have invited special guest speakers to talk about the sexualized culture and how that impacts families. Find out more here.

Keep up with CARP Las Vegas on their Facebook page. Share your story to jennifer@carplife.org!