Up with People makes a difference, one community at a time

The cast of Up with People has arrived in Stillwater. Founded in the 1960s, Up with People has been sending groups of youths out into the world to spread a positive message of hope for more four decades. Each cast is made up of around 100 young people between the ages of 17 and 29. The cast comes from over twenty different countries and visit more than twenty different communities around the world each semester. In each community that they visit, the cast members arrive on Monday and are placed with host families who provide a place to sleep, breakfast, dinner, and transportation in the morning and evening. Throughout the week, the cast members participate in service projects before ending the week with a musical stage production. According to Janne Van Doorslaer, Up with People’s Promotion Representative, Up with People promotes cultural exchange through travel, music, and community action days. Up with People also helps to “raise awareness about issues important to young people.”

Throughout the week, Up with People will provide community service at a variety of local nonprofit agencies as well as visit local schools. International cast members will facilitate leadership workshops at the Stillwater High School, Northern Oklahoma College, and Stillwater Junior High School. These programs are designed to create an interactive environment for students to respectfully share their values and the values of others while engaging in critical thinking skills.

Some cast members will take part in a World Dance Class with international students at OSU and perform acoustic versions of their songs at OSU on the Student Union Plaza. Other cast members will work at Our Daily Bread, Habitat for Humanity, Karman Korner, Salvation Army, and the WONDERtorium.

The week wraps up on Saturday, September 29, with two performances of the 2018 Live on Tour show at the Stillwater High School Performing Arts Center. The first show is at 2 p.m. and the second will take place at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for students, and $9 for kids 12 and under. Proceeds from the ticket sales will fund student scholarships for Oklahoma State University students. Tickets can be purchased online at https://upwithpeople.org/events/stillwater/.

On Sunday, cast members will have a free day spent with their host families exploring Stillwater before leaving by bus for Houston, Texas early Monday morning.

Up with People’s visit to Stillwater is presented by the Division of Institutional Diversity at OSU and with support from Visit Stillwater and Stillwater Living Magazine.