Camp Up with People & Sequoyah Middle

You're here! This is an online campaign to send students from Sequoyah Middle School to Camp Up with People! Over 100 students attended Up with People: VOICES at Roswell High School in March of 2013. Their lives were forever changed through the music and positive message from the show. At the Spring 2013 Up with People International Alumni Association Board of Governors meeting, it was voted upon to provide one full scholarship to an individual student from classroom 319 to attend Camp Up with People with the intention of creating an alumni match for a second (and possibly third) student to attend as well.

Students have applied, interviewed and have been officially accepted - it's just a matter of making the funds appear to send them all! As their teacher, I will be returning to Atlanta to drive the three of them to camp in Harrisonburg VA for their three weeks away.

With your support, we can provide this opportunity to change and be changed to some really amazing and deserving students who need just a bit of support to recognize how promising their own future actually can be. Thank you in advance for supporting this endeavor! I invite you to visit our class virtually or in person, the door is always open!

I teach in Metro Atlanta. In March, I raised funds to bring all of my students to see their first Up with People show in Roswell, Ga. The students I teach are severely under served, many are behind academically, learning english as a second or third language and 99% of the school meets federal qualifications for free and reduced lunch. They're predominately Hispanic, South Asian and African American and have been limited in their exposure to the world almost in spite of their own diversity. Three of them have been selected and accepted to attend Camp Up with People this summer... - one with a full scholarship from the UWPIAA - the others through an alumni match scholarship and with the financial support of friends, family, community and school.. the whole village. 

Want to know more about the students selected to represent the UWPIAA, Metro Atlanta and Sequoyah Middle School? 

Abel is 15 and going into 9th grade, he works part time to help support his family. Peers have attempted to bring him down time and time again with bullying and teasing, Abel lost all of his hair at the beginning of 8th grade. He remains positive and optimistic, focused on his future and diligent in his studies. I am most proud of his growth as a leader this year, he has over come challenge after challenge while maintaining straight A's (he came in as a C/D student.) His parents are both super supportive of his endeavors in boxing, sound design, and soccer. He even started taking a few 'mini' dance lessons from some of his peers to start preparing for Camp Up with People. Mary is a bit more on the quiet and reserved side, but she has a firm belief and commitment to growing as a performer and leader at Camp this summer. 

Mary is the youngest of nine children, she spends much of her time outside of school looking after nieces and nephews as her sisters and mother all work. When I informed Mary that she was a finalist, she began to cry. She has never left the community she grew up in, her first 'fancy' bus ride was to the Up with People show. I was most moved by the letter written in broken english by her Mom. She said that Up with People was the first thing to make Mary smile in a very long time, that it broke the seriousness of all of life's responsibilities for her daughter. Mary is an incredible artist and writer, she has already started drawing a comic book diary of her journey to Camp Up with People. 

Catalina is one more student (the alternate right now, if we can't raise the money necessary) that has been selected and accepted to attend Camp. She is again the youngest in a large family. She was a cheerleader (but it's too girly for her now), she plays the viola in the orchestra here at school (but promises she isn't any good), she writes and thinks and feels years ahead of her age (but still giggles at middle school humor.) Caty is that 'once in a lifetime kid' that reminds me so very much of myself fifteen years ago - stuck between wanting to grow up and face the world and wanting to hide away from the reality that has arrived. She has an immense personality and was quick to embrace the opportunity to interact with the UWP cast that visited in March. 

These three are amazing... they're pieces of the future for UWP and this is one step towards making sure that the program continues to grow. If I had known five years as I came off the road just how rewarding a career teaching students like these would be, I would have sprinted into the classroom. With just two days left with my 'kids' I'm excited to lay UWP in the bricks that build their foundation for the future.

Please let me know if you have questions! All the best!

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Beth Clay 
Anreep, GA
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