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Student Expeditions Challenging students to contribute their absolute best to the world since 2003 N o B a r r i e r s Yo u t h . o r g

Dear Global Educator, Welcome to No Barriers Youth and congratulations on taking the first step on a grand learning adventure. Our entire organization shares your excitement for global education and the enormous potential immersive educational travel can have on you and your students! At No Barriers Youth we are passionate about partnering with educators to combine your in-class curriculum and educational objectives with our customizable No Barriers Life framework to create a truly unique itinerary. We know there are many immersive educational travel programs to choose from, and by choosing No Barriers Youth you will receive: • • • •

A unique program designed around your educational needs and objectives A guarantee that your expedition will not be combined with another group Comprehensive logistical support necessary to execute a transformational expedition A once in a lifetime, meaningful and fun learning and growth opportunity for you and your students

We look forward to the opportunity of partnering with you to challenge your students to step out of their comfort zones, to think critically about the world and their role in it, and to address pressing global issues as passionate leaders who serve. Happy Travels, The No Barriers Youth Team


No Barriers Life At No Barriers we believe we all face challenges. But it’s not the obstacles that define us, it’s how we respond to them. As a student at the age of 13, Erik Weihenmayer lost his vision to a medical condition called retinoschisis. Determined to excel beyond his diagnosis, Erik graduated from Boston University with a double major and went on to teach and inspire students at the Phoenix Country Day School. With a drive to inspire a larger population of individuals, Erik was determined to go where no other blind or visually impaired individual had gone before. On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Throughout this transformational journey and his many other adventures, Erik learned about the characteristics of people who are able to harness adversity into advantage, rather than let it block their way forward. Erik called these characteristics the “No Barriers Life,” which then created the basis for him to co-found not merely an organization but rather a movement called No Barriers. Like Erik, every student has goals to achieve and barriers to address along the way. Through travel, No Barriers Youth expedition participants are inspired to work through challenges and have a positive impact in their local and global communities. N o B a r r i e r s Yo u t h . o r g



Why We Do What We Do

A phenomenal transformation occurs when you engage students in an immersive global setting that challenges their comfort zone, expands their world view, and strips away the distractions of everyday life. Since 2003, No Barriers has been working passionately to build a global community of curious and collaborative explorers eager to break through barriers and give back as leaders who serve! Our mission is to unleash the potential of the human spirit in every student we meet and as a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit we collaborate with schools, educators, and families to inspire each and every student to make an impact in their local and global communities.

How We Do What We Do


Whether it’s a high school senior graduating at the top of her class or a blind student learning to navigate life, our programs, curriculum, and overall approach to global education empower each and every student to contribute their absolute best to the world. A passionate team of global explorers will lead you through your three-phased expedition program: •

First, our Outreach Manager will begin designing your itinerary and support you through the registration process.

Next, your Expedition Manager will finalize registration, complete your itinerary and execute the travel logistics for your expedition.

Once you depart, your experienced Expedition Leader, who is trained in risk management, first aid, and experiential education, will guide you through your journey with the help of an in-country guide and the support of the entire No Barriers operations team.

Upon your return, our Expedition Management team will reengage you and your students to bring the field expedition and learning back into your community and help you finalize a Global Impact Project.

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N B Y / / I M PA C T

Since 2003, No Barriers Youth has served thousands of students from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2016 and 2017, we provided over one million dollars in educational scholarships for students in financial need and students with physical disabilities.


In 2018, we are projecting to serve more than 700 students and educators through our expedition programs, which is in addition to the large number of students we impact through our camp & specialty programs.


of alumni responded that “it is important to me that I learn from my experiences” after the expedition, compared to only 79% before departure


of travel participants responded they “want to create a positive impact on the world” after the expedition, compared to 75% prior to departure





of participants responded that “it is important to continually reach my goals” after their expedition, compared to only 72% before departure

of participants report the belief that they “see the value in working with others” after their expedition, compared to only 55% before departure

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of participants responded “it is important to get outside my comfort zone” after the expedition, compared to 59% prior to departure

of participants said “I am responsible to leave the world a better place than I found it” after the expedition, compared to 67% prior to departure 05

N B Y / / D E S T I N AT I O N S

Destinations No Barriers Youth carefully chooses destinations for the authenticity of the experience and the educational opportunities available. With more than 20 domestic and international destinations, educators can select the ideal location to complement their in-class curriculum and immerse their students in the programs and activities that make the No Barriers Life and our Global Impact Program so transformative.












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Educational Travel Services

To help educators effectively execute their goals in global education and to maximize the impact on students, we provide comprehensive and industry-leading educational travel services: •

Email Us! Email us today at to receive a sample itinerary and begin designing an expedition!


• • •

We work collaboratively with each school to design a truly unique itinerary that can include guest speakers, NGO site visits, peer-topeer cultural exchanges, service projects, adventure activities, and more! Groups will never share accommodations or transportation with another group From purchasing group airline reservations to securing emergency medical insurance, we provide the highest level of customer support By supporting locally owned lodges, restaurants, and activity providers, we mindfully promote local environmental and economic sustainability We are proud to partner with global organizations and impactful NGOs and other nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to creating positive and sustainable change throughout the world

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Designing Your Journey

At No Barriers Youth we are passionate about partnering with educators to design co-created expeditions that incorporate your in-class curriculum with our mission of creating a community of collaborative explorers eager to break through barriers and give back as leaders who serve. We do this by working with and supporting educators through a three-phased approach that incorporates your educational goals with the No Barriers Life curriculum and Global Impact Program framework.

Phase I:

Phase II:

Phase III:




Phase I effectively prepares students for travel by getting them enrolled in the program and educating them on the themes and issues of their destination. Educators eager to participate in our Global Impact Program will be supported with an engaging curriculum designed to immerse students in the No Barriers Life and important local and global issues.

Through life-changing expeditions that include authentic crosscultural experiences, leadership and team building, and meaningful service projects, students in Phase II break through personal barriers while exploring the issues associated with their Global Impact Project.

Returning inspired, students reflect on their experience and engage with their local and global community to execute their Global Impact Project and help create positive and sustainable change.

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Expedition Program Curriculum

The No Barriers Life Elements are the framework for the threephased expedition program curriculum. Through this framework, students are encouraged to leave their comfort zone as they creatively solve problems and grow into leaders who serve. Integrated with the Global Impact Project, which provides the opportunity to authentically address a global issue, the curriculum develops the skills and mindset to face personal and global challenges. The No Barriers Life Elements and the Global Impact Project are introduced during the pre-travel workshops and then more fully experienced during the expedition. Post-travel, students navigate life with new experience and skills as they implement their projects in their local communities.

Global Impact Program “No Barriers seamlessly integrated my classroom content and trip goals with their custom designed curriculum and travel planning know-how to create an expedition my students will never forget!” - Alison N. / Upper School Teacher


To further support educators and their students, the Global Impact Project is structured through three global themes. These themes, and our priorities for addressing related global issues, are: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION We celebrate diversity along with the unique talents and potential of all people, whatever their circumstances, to thrive and give their best to the world. ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT We promote growth processes that give people the means to have their own basic needs met, and to contribute to the health and stability of the greater community. ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY We value sustainability and environmental well-being, encouraging action that supports the health and renewal of the world’s natural resources.

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VISION Define a purpose that inspires you to give your best back to the world

REACH Move beyond your comfort zone to grow and reach goals


Persevere through challenges to innovate

ROPE TEAM Collaborate and connect with others to build strong communities

ALCHEMY Harness life experience into optimism


Find the gifts earned through the struggle


Impact the world as a leader who serves

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Learning AFAR Scholarship Expeditions “Growing up as an innercity child, I was exposed to a poverty that deteriorates a person’s mind, body and potential. Going abroad allowed me to understand issues of inequality as problems in society. It was a wake-up call, which told me the world’s fate is in my hands.” - Edgar, Learning AFAR student


Our Learning AFAR scholarship programs, created in partnership with AFAR Media, put participants on a path to fulfill their potential, both personally and as agents of positive change in the world. Developed in 2009, Learning AFAR programs use education, travel, and service projects as the vehicle for underserved youth to discover their potential, break through barriers, and have a positive impact on the world. Youth with mixed abilities and those without typical support systems face tremendous obstacles to completing high school, entering college and finding meaningful employment. They often live in neighborhoods where poverty and crime are common and job and education opportunities are not. Learning AFAR programs help to inspire youth and close the experience gap for students who are least likely to gain access to opportunities outside of their communities. Learning AFAR programs are supported through corporate partnerships, foundations and individual donations. Since its inception, Learning AFAR has provided more than 900 scholarships that enabled low-income and at-risk students to explore the world and their place within it.

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of Learning AFAR students graduate from high school compared to the 50% average for low-income students


of Learning AFAR students feel they have the skills to make a positive impact on the world

96% 96%

of Learning AFAR students have a desire to reach for their full potential

of students who travel believe that educational trips made them more intellectually curious in and out of the classroom

Additional Partners We are very fortunate to work with a variety of compassionate and committed individuals, nonprofits, and businesses, who due to their generous support make our individual scholarships and fully funded expeditions a success, and in turn change the lives of thousands of students. For more information about how you can help change lives please contact us at:

“Learning AFAR has not just

Climate Change Response Program

benefited the 20 students who

Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division

went to Costa Rica: It has redefined what’s possible for the entire school community. Our

Fish Family Foundation

students are starting to see past the boundaries of East Oakland to all the places they may go.” -Amy, Group Leader N o B a r r i e r s Yo u t h . o r g



Learning AFAR Foster Program “This experience was the opening of a door. All my life I’ve been walking the staircase of society, working for a letter grade, attempting to appreciate my surroundings, reflecting internally as I grew, and watching the world grow around me...but here I was exceptionally exposed to the concept of solidarity, of walking side by side with people—no matter the background—united in a common cause.”

In 2015, No Barriers Youth began a partnership with generous donors based in the Naples, Florida, area to pilot a Learning AFAR expedition benefiting youth in the foster care system. This program aims to build students’ interpersonal and leadership skills through the facilitation of the No Barriers Life curriculum and an immersive expedition through the Desert Southwest. Not only does this expedition provide an opportunity for these participants to explore a world outside of their own communities, it teaches them to build the resilience and strength needed to face obstacles throughout their life. This program is offered annually to students who are involved in the foster care system based in the Naples, Florida, area. Selecting and working with a passionate Group Leader, No Barriers Youth selects scholarship recipients that demonstrate financial need, academic merit, and leadership potential. Once selected, the group works together to understand the No Barriers Life Elements and experience them on the expedition. During the expedition, the group rafts the San Juan River, explores spectacular National Monuments, and visits the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation in the country, all while collaborating as a team, pushing their comfort zones, and honing their personal leadership skills.

- Learning AFAR student


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Going to the river after Canyon de Chelly has impacted me the most. Seeing how people live in remote places and still use solar panels and at the same time have a carbon footprint of zero definitely stuck with me as I traveled home. It is what motivated me to come home and share every part of my trip with my community and to change my behavior. - Learning AFAR student

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Leading the Way: Grand Canyon “I have grown a greater appreciation for working together as a team, stepping out of my comfort zone, and embracing all opportunities. I have a greater passion for nature and the outdoors.” - Desmond / 2017 Leading the Way participant

In partnership with Grand Canyon Youth and the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, No Barriers Youth offers our annual Leading the Way: Grand Canyon program for students who are sighted and blind/visually impaired. Developed in 2009 in partnership with world-renowned blind adventurer and No Barriers co-founder Erik Weihenmayer, our Leading the Way program focuses on encouraging independence and teamwork, questioning assumptions, promoting trust and embracing adversity. Each year, a group of teenagers ages 15-19 from around the nation are selected to receive scholarships for this once-in-a-lifetime leadership adventure. Over the course of 10 days, students journey into the heart of the Grand Canyon, learning about the importance of natural sounds, participating in meaningful science, learning about career opportunities with the National Park Service, and honing their leadership skills. At the end of this transformative expedition, students emerge as leaders ready to face personal barriers with passion and perseverance and inspired to be the next generation of ambassadors for the National Park Service. They also leave with a newfound sense of what it means to harness and overcome adversity through our No Barriers Life curriculum. This immersive expedition promises thrilling adventure, meaningful reflection, amazing connection with peers and nature, and the opportunity to experience, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.”

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Children of the Fallen In partnership with Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, this program invites children of fallen service members to carry on the legacy of their loved ones as they experience the transformational power of rafting down the San Juan River with our partners at Grand Canyon Youth. This challenging and empowering expedition provides opportunities to unite around adversity and embrace vulnerability with like-minded peers and compassionate Expedition Leaders. Each year, students ages 14-18 from around the country apply and are selected to participate in this fully funded, lifechanging expedition. Throughout this 9-day journey, students experience the beauty and power of the San Juan River, learn to serve others in the Navajo Nation, and challenge each other to embrace their adversity as they reach forward to live a No Barriers Life.

“The expedition impacted me on so many levels, one being that I’m not the only teen that lives a fatherless life and that things can get better. It was a humbling experience to get close with so many other teens and to realize that I not only met different people, but I met a group of friends. I want to say thank you to No Barriers and the generous donors who supported this program, because thanks to you guys and the sponsors I now have lifelong friends that I still talk to and sponsors that I know will always be there for me when I need them.� - Jada, 2017 Children of the Fallen Alum

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Safety and security are a primary concern to everyone at No Barriers Youth. We have a phenomenal safety record and we engage in ongoing analysis and evaluation of our risk management program and international standards in educational travel. All staff and Expedition Leaders are seasoned travelers and have extensive experience organizing youth travel throughout the developing world. With training, certifications, and partnerships with organizations around the globe, No Barriers Youth possesses the necessary skills and support to effectively manage emergencies everywhere we travel.

Every expedition includes the following risk management protocols and more: • • • • • •

Ongoing and regular safety assessments of travel destinations Customized Emergency Action Plan for each group Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) registration with the U.S. State Department Safety and security cards for each participant In-country student safety orientation 24-hour access to a U.S. based doctor on call and telemedicine care consult

• • •

Expedition Leaders certified as Wilderness First Responders or with advanced first aid training Comprehensive emergency medical and evacuation insurance Critical care team in the U.S. to monitor each traveling group

This is a broad overview of our extensive risk management program. For questions and additional details, please contact us for more information.


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No Barriers USA No Barriers Youth is just one department impacting lives within the larger nonprofit of No Barriers USA. Our entire organization, encompassing a multitude of departments and programs, inspires everyone to break through barriers, make a positive impact on their community, and live a No Barriers Life. ADDITIONAL NO BARRIERS YOUTH PROGRAMMING: No Barriers Schools Network - No Barriers Youth is laying the groundwork for a network of No Barriers Schools that are committed to the integration of the No Barriers Life into students’ learning experiences. Infused with in-class curriculum and domestic and international expeditions, the intent is to equip entire student bodies with the skills, resources, and confidence to make a positive impact in their local and global communities. Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) - In partnership with the National Parks Service, No Barriers Youth helps students grow and learn while exploring environmental issues at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Adventure Camps & Trips - Located north of our hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado, is our No Barriers Mountain Campus. Offering a variety of weeklong summer camps and trips at the base of the Rocky Mountains allows us to bring the No Barriers Life to a younger audience in fun and inspiring ways.

NO BARRIERS SUMMIT The No Barriers Summit is a premier multi-day event that brings together people of all backgrounds and abilities who are transcending barriers to unleash their fullest potential, live a life of purpose, and support people in their local community.

NO BARRIERS WARRIORS The Warriors team improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through curriculum-based experiences in challenging outdoor environments. On multiday expeditions, individuals address and overcome personal barriers to regain confidence, find a sense of purpose, and discover what’s possible.

Call Us! Call us today at 970.484.3633 to learn more about No Barriers Youth and get your students traveling.

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No Barriers USA 224 Canyon Ave, Suite 207 Fort Collins, CO 80521 | | 970.484.3633

No Barriers Youth 2018 Student Expeditions  

It doesn’t matter if you are studying climate change in Costa Rica or globalization in India, the power of culturally immersive educational...

No Barriers Youth 2018 Student Expeditions  

It doesn’t matter if you are studying climate change in Costa Rica or globalization in India, the power of culturally immersive educational...