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10 Dec, 2019   |   

Colorado Gives Day: An Up with People Scholarship Recipient

Meet Melina, a 1st semester cast member and Up with People scholarship recipient from Torreón, Coahuila, México

Today is Colorado Gives Day, the state’s largest day of giving for the entire year to nonprofit organizations within Colorado. We wanted to share with you on this special and important day for us what your gifts do for students all over the world to participate in our program and change their lives.

Thanks to a very generous donor, this year your gift will be DOUBLED dollar for dollar!

Learn more about how you can help by visiting or if you live outside the United States, visit

Why did you decide to travel in Up with People?

“I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, and out from my own little bubble. I wanted to grow as a human, to understand the world a little bit more, gain knowledge, and become more sensitive and loving to others around. I knew I needed to have this experience in order to appreciate and enjoy my life and the world more.”

Congratulations on being one of the scholarship recipients! Can you tell us a little more about this?

“For me, winning a scholarship was very important in order to travel. I put a lot of effort in my written petition. I was very nervous of not receiving it and being unable to travel with Up with People. I’m extremely grateful to the program for the help and faith they have shown they have in me.”

How did receiving a scholarship help you be able to pursue your travel experience in Up with People?

“Without the scholarship I received, I wouldn’t have been able to be here now. It gave my family and I have a lot of relief and we are all just so grateful. Money has always been something I need to be careful and thoughtful when spending, so it helps bring peace to my mind as well.”

How has traveling in the Up with People program impacted you so far?

“It has made me understand and embrace things I wouldn’t have been able to in another situation. It is teaching me so many things about myself and making me feel like I am able to make my life into something great.”

What are some of the benefits you have received from traveling in Up with People?

“Besides building friendships with new people from all around the world that I have met in the program, it also has allowed me to be outside of my comfort zone, improve my patience and flexibility for situations, and has greatly impacted my critical thinking skills to solve problems on the go. It has provided much more confidence in myself.”

gap year students travel in CanadaWhat challenges have you felt like you have overcome since traveling?

“On this journey, I’m doing something that I am not used to doing back home, which is trusting and being vulnerable with others. Here, I have so many great connections and experiences, I just need to learn how to care for myself a little more in order to function. So I am constantly working on my own personal wellness and mental health.”

What has been your favorite part since starting the program?

“It has been amazing making so many connections, experiencing love, and being loved for so many different people around the world like my host families or my cast. It has been incredible how you get to love your new extended families in the short amount of time you have together with them. Your cast is full of people who are looking for the same things that you want, so its easy to become close to them.”

Why is Up with People an important program for young people to experience?

“Up with People has a genuine way of opening our eyes. With that experience, passion, and knowledge implanted in all of us, we can all seek and fight for improvement in our world. That’s why organizations like Up with People are important.”

What advice would you give to someone considering to travel in Up with People?

“We are all naturally afraid of the unknown. Once you can take the fear out of your mind, you will never regret taking chances and doing things for improving yourself and your quality of life.”

Anything else you would like to add about yourself or about Up with People?

“Up with People opened my eyes and heart to stop seeing differences among human beings. It made me find a better version of myself and I know that I will have this experience present in my life for a long time. Thank you!”

“Veo un día un día de armonía
que viene entre la gente
y grandes y pequeños
con todos sus sueños
atravesando un puente.

El Puente © Up with People

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