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Dave Smith


Dave Smith

“Learning in real-time to understand different cultures, lifestyles, and life experiences was one of the most important parts of becoming a better leader and human being.”

My story with Up with People was a growing experience that began as a 17-year-old middleclass teenager with no history of travel, and little exposure to racial differences, religious beliefs, or world cultures different than my family or peer groups.

The experience enabled me to develop a worldview that seeks to be open and honest in my communications and to understand different perspectives while simultaneously sharing my thoughts and beliefs and perspectives. The three strong principles that I have kept in my life that have come from the year with UWP are a strong interest in helping community programs that support people, ensuring my beliefs are shared but not forced on others, and a real bond with people from other countries and cultures.

I have always felt Up with People had a special meaning and unique purpose in building relationships, creating a compassionate heart and enabling thoughtful expression of ideas. I use those leadership principles in many decisions I’ve made and have continued to grow towards mentorship of others in their journey as well.