20 Aug 2014
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Enumclaw Schools Foundation Board President Shares 'Up with People' Experience

The 'Up with People' shows take place this weekend in Auburn at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at www.upwithpeople.org/auburn.

Enumclaw Schools Foundation Board President Shares 'Up with People' Experience Enumclaw Schools Foundation Board President Shares 'Up with People' Experience
By Johna Thomson

It was January 1980, I was 18 years old when I began a journey that would change my life. I flew to Arizona to meet 120 other 18-24 year olds from over 20 countries and I spent a year traveling and performing with them. We were traveling and performing with  Up with People.

It was a long, hard year – I’m not going to lie, but I loved it all. I loved living with over 80 host families in cities in Eastern US, as well as in Ireland, Belgium and Denmark. I loved being pushed to try new things while performing in the show and helping set up the details of the cast’s schedule in a city. But mostly I loved becoming friends with my international cast mates who are now my life-long friends.

I’m so excited to have Up with People back in South King County – it’s been over 19 years since they were in Auburn! The Up with People show, “Voices” is being sponsored by your community Rotary Clubs – including the Enumclaw Rotary Foundation - and the Seattle Times! Shows are this Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21 at 7:30 at the Auburn Performing Arts Center.

This high-energy, family entertainment show features a cast of 100 international students who sing and dance to original Up with People songs, and to medleys of songs you’ll recognize.  The 2-hour show will keep you and your kids entertained the whole time!  Get a glimpse of the show and tickets (only $20!)  by visiting the Up with People web site: http://www.upwithpeople.org/auburn/

The self-confidence and leadership skills I gained during my year with Up with People infused my life. Currently I’m a community volunteer working with non-profits that benefit kids in Black Diamond, Enumclaw and Maple Valley. As the current President of the Enumclaw Schools Foundation I’m helping to enhance educational opportunities for all students in the Enumclaw School District. As the acting President of the PTSO at Thunder Mountain Middle School I’m working to support the students and teachers at Thunder Mountain by engaging parents. And as a Board Member of the Black Diamond/ Maple Valley Kiwanis, I’m helping make the world a better place for children, one community at a time. I continue to strive to make my world a better place – a value instilled in me during the year I traveled with Up with People.

I encourage students 17-29 years old who enjoy a challenge; travel; meeting new people; and want to help make the world a better place to look into traveling with Up with People – it’s an experience that can change your life – it changed mine! Potential students can get more information on the Up with People web site or by talking to a cast member after the show on Friday and Saturday in Auburn. I would be so pleased to see a local student seize this unique opportunity and join a future cast of Up with People.

Up with People has been traveling the world bringing hope, community involvement and a lively show to cities around the world for nearly 50 years. Its mission is: Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers students an unparalleled experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time.

For More Information about Up with People, including a video glimpse of their show and information about traveling with the group, check out their web site at: http://www.upwithpeople.org/ or visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/upwithpeople


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