Junior Leadership Task Force Workshop 2018

Junior Leadership Task Force Workshop 2018

High School students from across the United States traveled to the wilderness of Montana to participate in Family Peace Association’s annual leadership training program, Jr. Leadership Task Force, through July and August.

Out here surrounded by mountains, trees, and the clear sky above, there are nearly no human traces. There are not the distractions of our everyday lives back in our homes— TV, music, our phones, computers, or whatever causes us to forget about time, and indulge ourselves in something where we forget about the concept of time. But time is very important, because unlike other materialistic, physical entities, time cannot be replaced. So taking this time from our busy schedules gives us time to clear our body and mind. With no electricity, you wake with the sun and sleep with the moon, like our ancestors did. And at night, up on the mountains, hundreds of stars light up the sky, a sight rare to see back home. You become connected with our original selves, and you come to wonder how we ever forgot about the beauty around ourselves in the world. Kent (16) from Seattle

Preconceptions lead to a mind full of doubt, hopelessness and fear. Nobody knows when the sun will shine, or if it will rain. However, the presence of Shimjung (a Korean word for an impulse to unconditionally give love) has the power to become that one striking beam of light to bring hope, motivation, and success. My friend and I went from door to door in an unfamiliar town of Montana to see if anybody would like to join us in a service project in their community. My mind was mixed with determination and doubt, especially at a place that I have never been to. However, my challenges were meant to be overcome because I wanted to give my sincerity for others to experience the opportunity of selfless service. I saw faces of smiles, expressions and thoughts of consideration, gratitude towards our heart, and the desire to also give back. That Shimjung I saw in people gave me hope and became my light within the darkness. Joo (17) from California

Teen Talk: “It’s so important to have the right motivation of heart.”

Teen Talk: “It’s so important to have the right motivation of heart.”

Sumika might be a shy high school student, but during her time on Jr. Leadership Task Force, her insights on spiritual growth demonstrated that character and a mature perspective are what count when it comes to learning about being a leader.

Jr. LTF is preliminary program for young adults who may go on to participate in Leadership Task Force, designed by Family Peace Association to provide participants with a unique international experience that develops spiritual growth and lessons on leadership to carry into their families, communities, and nations.

Sumika talks about having a higher perspective during leadership program

During the summer Jr. LTF program, Sumika had the goal to “take on a higher perspective.” Her introverted tendencies once made it difficult to break out of her comfort zone to approach people and share about the service project she would be going on to participate in later that summer in Indonesia. However, she shared how she was able to overcome her challenges saying, “I wanted to have a positive attitude and be motivated by the aspiration to live for the sake of others. I realized that by having humility and gratitude, I could think from a different perspective outside my own. It is so important to have the right motivation of heart.”

As Sumika has expressed, when developing leadership capacities in young people, it is essential to instill values that drive them to come up with solutions that may not primarily benefit themselves, but rather be motivated by a greater good. By thinking of the people she is serving, Sumika could look outside only what made her comfortable and reach a new level of maturity that gave her a glimpse into what she called “God’s perspective.”

Teen Talk: “It is only through challenge that we grow.”

Teen Talk: “It is only through challenge that we grow.”

Piljin is a new high school graduate who participated in a five-day fundraising campaign to pay his way through Family Peace Association’s leadership program for young adults. His story is one of challenge, leadership and maturity that gave him what he called “spiritual strength” to grow as a brother in his family and a leader in his community.

Piljin’s fundraising experience proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of his young life. He describes the process of fundraising as a “mental challenge.”

Piljin expresses his gratitude to his family as a high school graduate and participant in Jr. Leadership Task Force

“We talked about challenges throughout the week, but it’s only through challenge that we grow. In one sense, I’d like to believe that overcoming challenge during the fundraising allowed me to see the people and the area I live in from a new perspective.”

Every day in transit between his home and school, Piljin crosses paths with many people, typically without a word. But by fundraising, he was put into a position where he could share why he cared to be a part of a leadership program in the first place.

“When you’re out there, you’re conveying your beliefs to complete strangers. When you’re talking to people you have to explain your beliefs and values. Opportunities like that, bottom line, are good chances to grow. It helps affirm your beliefs, conviction, motivation and faith.”

When it comes to leadership development, character, values and a healthy life of faith are all part of becoming a leader who can use their conviction and determination to help other people.

“Fundraising is definitely a spiritual, internal exercise,” said Piljin. “Through challenges you’re able to learn and grow and figure out where you stand and be honest with yourself.”

Jr. Leadership Task Force offers a summer program, providing middle and high school students the opportunity to participate in a unique experience of spiritual growth and lessons on leadership they can carry into their families, schools and communities.

Jr. Leadership Task Force Indonesia Adventures

Jr. Leadership Task Force Indonesia Adventures

Jr. Leadership Task Force members traveled from the United States and Korea to participate in service projects, leadership development workshops, cultural expeditions and an interfaith assembly in Indonesia.

One thing I realized is that we need to have the perspective of wanting the religions’ harmonization not by letting it be different and just co-existing, but by seeing beyond the identities the religions give to people and recognizing that they are all children of God. True world peace can happen only if God is in the center to really prove the most fundamental bond between us and the people in the world as brothers and sisters who have one same parent.

Ohnshim (18)

Jr. LTF USA member

I realized many points when we went to the village for the service project. One is that seeing each other as members of one global family is possible. We were immediately able to connect even though we met for the first time in our lives. I also realized that service really helps melt all the different cultural differences as long as we look at each other from God’s perspective.

Pilsung (14)

Jr. LTF USA member