Up with People has created a generation of community leaders who have given back to Canadian society and benefited communities across the country in immeasurable ways.

Here are just a few participants that share how their early experience in Up with People impacted their desire to lead, serve, educate and seek justice in their communities.

Up with People Canada’s mission is to foster another generation of leaders and global citizens in Canada through this program.

Lillian Crow-Chief - Alberta (Cast B, 1981)

"I am a member of the Siksika Nation, which is located in Southern Alberta. Travelling in Up with People was a once-in-a-lifetime, worldly enriching experience that challenged every fibre of my being in all aspects of my mind, body and soul! It opened a whole new world for me. 

The skills I learned throughout my year with Up with People directly enhanced my solid traditional foundation. Up with People influenced and impacted my Indigenous world view and shaped me to become more active in global affairs and to advocate for all races, their human dignity and human rights.

When I returned home to my family and my people, I became more active in searching, seeking and advocating for human rights and a better quality of life for my Siksika Nation members.

I became actively involved in our politics and ran for Chief in our Governing system. I was active in many justice issues in my community including women’s equality, work-place bullying, governmental corruption and financial mismanagement, and water and land rights. I became a strong Warrior Woman, constantly advocating for my people and students. I became the President of the Native American Student Organization and graduated from the University of Lethbridge. When my homeland experienced a major flood which destroyed over 1,000 homes, my advocacy group was at the forefront of the recovery efforts, meeting such needs as shelter, food, clothing, counseling and transportation.

Up with People provided me with an experiential education in global awareness, and aided in the development and direction of both my personal and professional life. My life was changed by the values and beliefs I learned during my year with the organization. In these turbulent times, and especially in our 635 First Nation communities across Canada, our youth and Young adults need Up with People in their lives. Our young generations are not living up to their potential and their lives are taken so soon and tragically! Together we must work harder to provide our youth with different opportunities which will offer them a broader chance to fulfill their true potential as amazing human citizens for their families, their people, their communities. My commitment to my Siksika people is as strong as ever, and so it is for Up with People and my Cast B 1981 family."

Leslie Noble - Ontario (Cast B, 1997)

Looking back, it was Leslie’s time in UWP Cast B’97 that ignited here passion for education, social justice, supporting children and those in need. Selected as an Education Intern in the first round in her Cast, Leslie found that this experience sparked a drive to not only teach others, but to support them in exploring and discovering knowledge on their own.

Back home and in University, Leslie’s self-discoveries in Up with People led her to peruse a career in education. After completing several successful years of classroom teaching in Canada and internationally, Leslie’s drive to make a positive impact on the world brought her into the non-profit sector.

Leslie spent almost eight years at Girl Guides of Canada developing new and unique program curriculum for girls ages 5-17 across Canada. The programming Leslie designs is thoughtful, age and developmentally appropriate, reflecting changing social climates and the challenging landscape facing girls and young women today. Some of her work has included curriculum on gender-based violence, active life-styles, body-positivity, homelessness and poverty, financial literacy and various community service initiatives.

While at Girl Guides of Canada, Leslie harnessed her passion for mental health and education. Identifying a gap in experiential programming for youth in Canada around mental health, Leslie worked with subject matter experts in the field of youth mental health to develop a mental health program, for girls of all ages in Guiding in Canada. Entitled, Mighty Minds, the program is one of very few non-formal, experiential learning programs designed exclusively for girls and young women that allows them to explore mental health in a creative and safe way. Since it’s launch in 2017, Mighty Minds has been showcased at two World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) International conferences as an example of innovative and dynamic programming. Following these conferences, the Mighty Minds program has been taken back to various global WAGGGS Member Associations for use to support the mental health of girls and young women in these countries.

Without the passion for taking action and making a difference, using your voice in positive and powerful ways, building bridges of understanding, fighting for social justice, and educating others that Up with People brought to her, Leslie truly believes that she would not be making a difference in the world in the unique and powerful ways that she is today.

Chris Braeuel - (Cast E, 1989)

“Having served abroad with Up with People in my youth, I recall with fondness and appreciation the life-changing experiences that etched my career path in international development in stone. Whether in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Nigeria or the over 80 countries in 6 continents that life and work have taken me to help others, I continue to be inspired by the words of Up with People’s founder, J. Blanton Belk, who called upon us to be ‘sparks and flames that could ignite peoples’ hopes and longings for world peace’.”

Chris is an international development practitioner and leader with 20 years’ experience in policy development and implementation, multilateral negotiations and diplomacy, global project and program management, and organizational stewardship in both the public and not-for-profit sectors. He is the Founder of CHB International Associates, and international affairs and development consultancy, and previously served as Executive Director for Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières Canada and as Country Director and Project Manager with Cuso International in Nigeria and Tanzania respectively. In 2010, he was First Secretary for Development with the Canadian Embassy in Kabul where he led and managed Canada’s support to Afghanistan’s basic education sector. Prior to this, Chris represented Canada in the United Nations as the National Focal Point, Chief Adviser and Bureau Vice-President to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Previously, he was Senior Adviser and Negotiator with the Canadian team under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. Prior to embarking on his international career, Chris was actively involved in the creation of the Canada Research Chairs program in 2000 and the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2004.

He is a recipient of the Queen’s Operational Service Medal (South West Asia), the Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers, the Carleton University Humanitarian Alumni Award, and the Up With People International Alumni Association’s Everyday Hero Award. In 2018-19, Chris established Carleton’s first permanent Endowment to help eligible students of the Bachelor of Global and International Studies program, who have demonstrated financial need, with support for their international experience.

Chris has lectured and presented on international development issues around the world and has chaired various multinational panels and working groups. He has also actively served on the Boards of various local and international organizations including the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization; the CanUgan Disability Support Project; the Leadership Council for McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development; the Society for International Development Governing Council; One World Arts; and the Institute of Public Administration in Canada, among others. He holds a combined BA Honors in History and Public Management and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from Carleton. Through field work, volunteering and exploration Chris has experienced over 80 countries across 6 continents and speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Swahili.


Are you a Canadian Up with People Alumni?


Are you, or do you know of, a young adult between the ages of 17-29 interested in representing Canada among the next program opportunity of Up with People?

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