By Mark Ambrogi
As an Up with People alum, Zionsville resident Pau Nelson is familiar with the organization’s mission.
Up with People started in the 1960s when there was social turmoil in the United States.
“It started with a group of college kids who wanted to build bridges and build understanding among cultures and society,” Nelson said. “For the last 50 years, it has been for college students.”
One of the alums started a summer camp for ages 13 to 17, a three-week program in Virginia, five years ago. Nelson said it has been successful, so the idea was to start locally with younger students. So Up with People Jr., a performing arts summer camp for ages 8 to 11, is coming to Indianapolis in June. Indianapolis was selected as one of five pioneer sites.
Nelson, who grew up in Mexico City, traveled all around the world as a UPW cast member in 1991.
“As a former teacher, I thought it was great message to bring to the kids in Indiana,” said Nelson, who has been living in Indiana for 20 years.
Nelson left teaching one year ago to work in her husband’s family business.
“The idea is to bring the camp internationally so throughout the year my kids from Indianapolis can have pen pals,” Nelson said. “Our idea is to have our campers connected with campers all over the world. So that’s the main purpose of the camp.”
The two-week day camps, for boys and girls, will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 13 to 24 at the International School of Indiana, Michigan road campus. Nelson formerly taught Spanish at the International School and Traders Point Christian Academy.
UWP Jr., a nonprofit group, seeks to inspire the community through education, team building, community service and performing arts during the camp. UWP Jr. shows address topics such as diversity, international awareness and personal identity.
For more, visit UpwithPeopleJr.org.