Upup Gives Students and Dogs a Chance to Give Back

by Luis Moas, sophomore chemistry major

When I came to the University of Miami, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to get involved with or if I even wanted to get involved with anything at all. I always heard people telling me to “get involved.” Their advice was solid, but I never really understood how I was supposed to plunge into a whirlwind of activity my first semester of college.

Fortunately, my calculus professor was there to help with that.

Luis and Trenton

Last fall semester, Dr. Joy Beverly, along with two students, had just begun working on a new organization. The fledgling club, Upup, would come to be formally recognized by the University in January. Dr. Beverly mentioned the organization in class and described this opportunity to train service dogs and work with certified trainers.

That caught my attention. I’ve always loved dogs, and am fascinated by how obedient some people can train theirs to be. I spoke to her after class about how to get started. After a few short training sessions with Dr. Beverly and the club President, I was taking the organization’s own canine buddy, Trenton, out on walks throughout the campus and working on his obedience training.

Upup really opened up my eyes to extracurricular involvement on campus, and at a pace that was enjoyable for me. I’ve also learned — and continue to learn — skills in training dogs destined for service work. While it’s still a small organization, I’ve grown to love it and can’t wait to see what the future holds for it.