Boomers to Mentor Millennials at Barrytown
The Barrytown campus of the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) hosted a first-time ever conference on April 17-19 aimed at helping 60 or more Unificationist-born young adults succeed at career and family, according to organizers.
Launched under the banner of “Project Fusion,” the idea came out of a conversation between a group of elder Unificationists, including veterans of the American Freedom Coalition, and some young adult professionals looking to take initiative in their communities.
“A group of distinguished Unificationists from the group, Origins Partnership, a 501 3c educational nonprofit, were looking to contribute to their communities, and some of my peers and I recognized the need to collaborate to provide support and mentoring for ourselves and younger generations,” said Mr. Jin Kwon Kim, 36, who helped plan the conference at Barrytown.” He added, “When we polled a group of younger Unificationists on what they were looking for, the top of the list of their priorities were: career development, family life and making a difference in the world. We asked ourselves how we could engage our community to be successful in these areas and from there Project Fusion emerged.”
Dr. Hugh Spurgin, President of UTS, welcomes the increased use of the Barrytown campus for networking events, career development and thought leadership. “In its 40th year of operation, the Unification Theological Seminary was proud to host Project Fusion, an exciting experiment in intergenerational nurture. The presenters and those who came to take notes are among the best and the brightest of each generation,” he said. “We urge all those coming to save the date of Saturday, May 23rd, for UTS graduation ceremonies at Barrytown for undergraduate and graduate students. More networking opportunities will be there.”
Former New Mexico State Senator Marc Boitano mentored participants considering a career in real estate. “Origins is a multigenerational partnership. We have decided to work together to create a foundation for career development, attaining financial freedom, and empowering personal and family development,” Marc explained in a video posted on the Project Fusion Face Book page.
Other fields available for mentorship included public policy, health, education and the trades. Henri Schauffler, a graduate of the seminary and a business management coach, and Judge Mark Anderson, formerly a state legislator in Arizona, joined Boitano as mentors.
“The goal of Project Fusion is to provide an opportunity for our community and friends of our community to connect with like-minded people and offer real hands on tools and mentoring in developing one’s career and family life. In order to accomplish that goal, we are drawing not only on the wisdom, experience and values from our own community, but also bringing what we found to be the best applications of those values in the world and are fusing everything together in one place,” according to Jinkwon.
“Day One provided a unique mentoring and networking opportunity for young people starting their careers, established professionals, and everyone in-between. The programs on Day Two empowered participants in meaningful relationships, whether it be with a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or significant other.”
Jinkwon explained that the eight-month process of planning this gathering was for him a meaningful journey. “I initially got involved in this collaboration because I was really excited by the potential of connecting into what I considered a largely untapped pool of resources and people from a very diverse, unique and, in many ways, an unparalleled global network to which not many people have access. Broadening the focus to achieve a level of financial freedom for myself and others and support my growing family life seems to be a very natural progression of the values in our community.” He added, “However, another reason for staying involved was that I believe Project Fusion can become the catalyst for the growth of a deeper, broader grass-roots community that empowers people to make a real, lasting impact on the world.”
Contributed by Douglas Burton and Jin Kwon Kim.