We are kicking off part two of our gap year series by sharing an interview we had with Kristin, the mother of a gap year traveler in Up with People. Kristin’s daughter, Ivy, was a year-long Study Abroad student in the program. If you haven’t read part one of our series, click here to learn more about Ivy’s perspective as a traveler in the program.
Kristin, Ivy’s Mom
As a parent of a traveler, what was the deciding factor for you to have Ivy join the Up with People program?
“It has been a life-long goal and dream of hers to participate in Up with People. Since a small child, she has expressed her desire to travel the world, serve humanity with her talents, abilities, and gifts, and continuously up-level her leadership skills. Up with People encompasses all three which made it an easy decision. I have always been committed to supporting my children in the pursuit of their heart’s desires, goals, and dreams.”
What has been your favorite part as a parent watching your child travel during her gap year?
“I have enjoyed watching Ivy make her way around the world as she gained a new level of global independence, connection, and awareness. I love that she made deep friendships with people from different cultures, expanding her perspective of humanity while learning how we all communicate and relate differently.”
What value do you see in the program for young adults?
“Tremendous value! Up with People gives young adults the opportunity to immerse themselves in a variety of cultures full of diversity and differing values and perspectives. This provides an opportunity for healthier global cross-cultural relationships for the future of humanity. Up with People also helps others to see the importance of having a heart of service which creates more compassion and tolerance for others. The perspectives of young adults who travel abroad in this program are expanded, and they’ll never see the world the same. They’ll act from less judgment and more awareness and compassion. The world needs more leaders like this, and the youth need more access to opportunities like this.”
Would you recommend the program to others, and if so, why?
“I would definitely recommend this program to others. Up with People is a life-changing opportunity to prepare young adults to be extraordinary leaders with global interpersonal relationship skills and a sense of adventure for life.”
Any other thoughts you would like to add you think people should know about the Up with People program?
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Ivy creatively fundraised 100% of her own required funds herself through singing telegrams, creating and selling a travel cookbook, creating travel vlogs, and so much more (all while touring and finishing at the top of her full-time Study Abroad semester). She now knows there is nothing she can’t achieve in this life. She has accomplished more in a year than most ever do in a lifetime. Multiply that by 100 kids every semester and you’ll see that Up with People is creating an army of world-changers.”
“Maybe we should follow
The footsteps of a girl.
The woman of tomorrow,
Let’s fight for a better world.”
Footsteps of a Girl © Up with People