Teens and leaders who have experienced the program are the true ambassadors for reconciliation, tolerance, and peace – in Northern Ireland, in Delaware, and beyond.

In their words…

“Ulster Project Delaware is a life changing experience that has made such an impact on my life. Each year, this program changes the lives of 36 young people and gives them a new perspective of the world and really opens up their eyes and hearts to try to make a change for the better.”  Caitlin, UPD 2013

“UPD makes us realize we are all human. Not only that, but we are humans who have an incredible power to affect change in ourselves and in those around us.”  Julia, UPD 2010

“UPD is the most amazing adventure any teen could wish to embark on. It has given me friends that feel like family, memories that will last a lifetime and a totally new perspective on life and society, all which I am eternally grateful for.  Eilis, UPD 2012

“An incredible opportunity for teens in N. Ireland from diverse backgrounds to learn respect & tolerance for each other and by learning through the example of our American teens, leaders and host families. And to have the most amazing month of their lives!”  Amy, UPD 2013

“Wow! What can I say UPD is hard to sum up in one word, but I do feel it has in a small way creating the shared space we call Northern Ireland, in helping young people from NI to grow up with a broadened outlook on others in Northern Irish society which is one we all aim for one of tolerance , respect and appreciation of each others’ cultures.”  Paul, Leader, UPD 2012

“After 23 years the letters UPD said together as an acronym makes me burst into a grin. They could stand for “unique personal development”, or for “ultra pleasing days” or even “uniting people’s destination”. In this context they mean Ulster Project Delaware, a community that annually changes not just 36 teenagers lifes but every one they come into contact with. It starts a chain of hope every year that spreads and lasts ….. I know cause after 23 years I still rave about it .. one of my proudest times of my life was to be ” A Northern Irish Ambassdor to the USA under the UPD banner”….. and I still have those friends in my life too.”  Bernadette, UPD 1991

“Tonight I spoke to my host teen of 1989. Getting very excited about her wedding plans! To me that sums it up – we have been together through the good, bad & ugly.”  Donna, UPD 1989

“Once you are touched by UPD it stays with you forever.”  Jamie, UPD 1989 

“Best month by far, life changing, done things I never thought I’d ever get a chance to do! Will never forget Upd!!” Jessica, UPD 2013

“You can’t put into words how amazing upd is, and how much it will impact your live and the lives of those around you, but it is an absolutely amazing project that has done so much good since it started. After being selected for the program i knew it would have a impact on my life but i had NO clue as to how much of an affect the project would have on me. The project has shown me that just because we aren’t from the same continent doesn’t mean we aren’t alike when in actual fact we are! This summer i met some of the most amazing people ever, people who i can’t even call my friends, because they’re not..they’re family! Haha this is a lot longer than 2 lines but yolo;) thanks to everyone who works so hard at making upd the success that it is and for making it happen for me!”  Mollie, UPD 2013

“UPD makes the world seem smaller, by growing lasting friendships.”  Nyah, UPD 2013

“Liv’n a dream!”  Bud, Leader

“A truly life changing, amazing experience, that teaches you more about yourself, other people and other cultures you may not have got the chance to learn about before  2013.”  Lauren, UPD 2013

“Ulster Project Delaware provides people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds in Northern Ireland and the USA to establish lifelong friendships based on trust and respect rather than being separated by their beliefs. They use the experiences gained through UPD to give back to and benefit the lives of others in their communities.  Ciaran, UPD 2006 and Leader, 2012

“The most incredible and life changing adventure imaginable that has taught me so much about myself and those in the world around me as well as really boosting my confidence. I have returned home much more open and neutrally minded about the situation in Northern Ireland and have made lifelong best friends as well, both at home and in the States. I will forever reflect on my UPD experience and it will undoubtedly affect my future decisions and actions, in a way positive for everyone.”  Conor, UPD 2013

“I had the time of my life…opened my mind.”  Catherine

“The Ulster Project teaches Northern Irish Protestants and Catholics to coexist by plunging them into a culture that does not have that problem to such an extent.”  Connor, UPD 2011

 Religion is such a small part of what makes us who we are. UPD gives teens from Northern Ireland an opportunity to look past the differences and to see people as more than just a religion.”  Aisling, UPD 2002

Host parents share their thoughts:

“Each UPD experience is unique to your family and your child.  We’ve all grown this month of July, appreciated more….people, faiths, cultures, community, and the selflessness of others.  We are consistently reminded of the value of each and every individual involved in the project and behind the scenes.”

“This is our fourth year doing the project and the fourth wonderful experience. Since 2005, Our family has grown by 3 NI daughters and 1 NI son. Even though we have a large family to begin with, there is always room in you home and heart to welcome more for whatever we have given, we have received tenfold!!”

“UPD was a great experience for our entire family and is one that we look forward to repeating with our younger 3 kids. I get emotional just thinking about it. Ryan is changed. He is more patient with his siblings, more helpful around the house, more committed to his friends and their well-being, more open with us, more reflective. He seems not more serious exactly, but more committed to that which matters– family, friends, school–, taking the initiative to get the ball rolling with things. He is attached, greatly so, to all of the other UPD kids, N.I. and American. Sam became a brother to him and I really believe they have formed a relationship that will last for many years. In fact, they Skype so much I feel like Sam is still in my house. I hear his voice at all hours of day and night!”

“It is always interesting to learn about other cultures, traditions and beliefs.  We enjoyed getting to know Victoria and her family and to hear about her personal experiences in North Ireland.  After participating in UPD twice, I think I finally understand the Northern Ireland school system!  As a family it helps us grow in ways we typically we would not and appreciate each other for who we are.”

“Simply opening our house and heart, which is so very easy, always fills our house and heart with such joy.  We have been truly blessed as a family to have had these experiences.  To see our children experience such genuine happiness for a solid month is worth every early morning carpool.“

“I became more educated about the historical and current issues in NI.  I had the opportunity to watch my daughter grow as an individual and as a part of a group.  Our family has been enriched by the entire process.“

“It was great for Meg to meet some many new friends.  We have learned about the differences in the cultures. “

“It was wonderful to be surrounded by such a nice, well behaved group of young / people.  That experience combined with spiritual nature of the program was / quite uplifting. “

“It seems to help us to remember to be more tolerant at least while we’re doing the project.  Some day I’m hopeful it’ll stick. “

“We learned what it was like to host someone from another country and learned to ask questions – and just listen.  Ben was a great kid for that! “