Prepared by FFWPU USA
On Saturday June 6, 2020, Generation Peace Academy (GPA) held their virtual graduation ceremony, completing a very special and memorable 2019-2020 year. Amidst the many challenges of 2020, one benefit of hosting a virtual graduation ceremony was the thrill in welcoming over 400 GPA families, communities, alumni and friends to celebrate the graduates. The spirit was to make it the best graduation ever to conclude a year filled with blessings.
During the ceremony, Roland Platt, director of GPA, remarked, “This year will certainly go down in history as the most unusual and the most blessed so far. Heavenly Parent is watching with pride and joy as a new great generation of young people are graduating. Today is your D-day. To get here you have walked an exciting and challenging course, with many victories, highlights and happy moments – but these all came on the foundation of your consistency, endurance and sacrifice.”
Kaeleigh Moffitt, national director for FFWPU Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YAYAM), emceed the event and created a heavenly environment of love, joy and celebration. The GPA Choir, led by graduates Elijah Maddox and Lena Miyagi, took on the challenge to create a virtual choir with great success. The Choir sang “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, reflecting the message of “Peace Starts With Me” that True Mother is always advocating. True Mother is an affectionate term when referring to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU).
Without the love, support and guidance of Regional Chairman for FFWPU-North America Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and President of FFWPU-USA Rev. Demian Dunkley, GPA could have never had an incredible year full of blessings and connection of heart with True Mother. Dr. Kim has shared so intimately about True Parents’ life course and has advised each graduate to walk the path of True Parents and become messiahs to their own worlds. Rev. Dunkley expressed his pride for GPA through his message and was moved to tears as he recalled the testimony about the young Russians who were introduced to God and the Divine Principle, and who felt like they were given new life and could breathe for the very first time.
Six GPA graduates gave testimonies, and talked about their immense growth over the past year. They expressed gratitude to everyone who worked hard to make the 2019-2020 GPA year a reality. Many said that their greatest victory was developing and building a true loving connection with Heavenly Parent and True Parents that will continue to grow throughout their lives.
The virtual ceremony spotlighted and honored each graduate, and continued with celebratory cake, gifts and a “Family Dance Off,” spotlighting whole families at home dancing wholeheartedly.
Despite the challenges of social distancing, GPA was able to end the year with a very strong spirit. GPA manifested its resilience and resourcefulness by continuing its education and training at home during this time of quarantine. A record number of participants are returning for a second or third year to further their Life of Faith leadership training as captains, Cheon Il Guk Missionaries and Heavenly USA team members.