Interview with Up with People Traveler | Macy from Nashville

Published by Darron Toy on

My name is Maci Ruggiero and I’m from
Nashville, Tennessee. This is my first semester in Up with People. Performing in Up with People has been completely different than performing at home back in Nashville
because and all the shows I’ve done you’re playing a character or you’re
playing a role that’s assigned to you, but in Up with People you are you. You
are representing what you believe and you are standing on stage and telling
the audience the message that you want to give to them. I’m most looking forward
to going to Italy. I’m excited about all the other countries were going to, but I
actually have Italian heritage. My grandfather is 100% Italian and he
passed away before I really got the opportunity to engage in the Italian
culture so I’m really excited to meet the people and all the cities were going
to, experience the food, the music, the places and the host families. I’m just
really excited. I think programs like Up with People are
very important because it allows young people the opportunity to travel the
world, engage in different cultures, learn more about themselves as they travel
with different people from 14 different countries and just learn how to coexist
with people who are different than them. I think that’s a great experience for
everyone and especially young people who are trying to make a difference in the world. I found Up with People online. I was researching different opportunities to travel and go
abroad, different gap year programs I was actually Googling different
opportunities that would take me places where I could learn about culture and I
could also perform and I had never heard of an organization that had both of
those things. So I found this website called Go Overseas in which I put in
different filters on that website and Up with People was the first thing that
came up and it sounded exactly like what I was looking for. It aligned with all my
passions and I just decided to go for it and apply. I hope to gain more knowledge of different cultures, become more culturally aware, just taken every
experience I can learn from the people around me and just enjoy all the
beautiful cultures and countries that were going to. Meeting my host family in
Denver for the first time was really crazy. I didn’t know what to expect, you
know when we get there we don’t know who we’re staying with until they give us
our allocation card so I was so excited to meet them. They had a seven-year-old
daughter. I was really excited because I don’t have younger siblings and I was just really excited and open-minded for whatever the experience would hold. Something that I’ve learned through different Community
Action days that we’ve had in Up People is the importance of education.
I’ve loved engaging with so many different children in the Ruston
community and hearing from them and hearing how they’re passionate about the
world and really realizing how important it is that we empower the youth when we
go into these communities because they’re the ones that are going to
change the world.

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