Youpa is a native Montanan. She has a BFA in acting and directing from the University of Montana and she graduated with an MA in Psychology and Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a Registered Drama Therapist. In 1993 Youpa co-founded Living Art of Montana, where she has facilitated workshops for 22 years exploring the arts to enhance aliveness and support resilience. She has worked primarily with people dealing with illness and loss. Youpa has also served as a Montana Arts Council board member since 2005.