It’s twilight and the moon reflects on the river. Massive canyon walls surround us and echo the more than 10,000 cubic feet of water moving past us each second. I sit up on my Paco Pad, brush sand away and look across the 20 students still asleep in a cluster on the beach.
While the scenery of the Grand Canyon from a raft is inspiring on its own, Bobby found a more profound view this summer. It was a better view of himself and of his future.
How would you feel if you saw stars for the first time? Yes, the very first time. For Kelly, the feelings and emotions evoked by gazing up at something we all take for granted is still, six years later, hard to put into words.
One thing, above all else, awaited Miguel in Costa Rica. The ability to own his identity. But, he had no idea it would find him there in one of the most empowering and personal moments of his life. It was 2011 and the shy, reserved high school student had only traveled outside the United States once — to the Mexican town where his family is from. He never expected an international travel scholarship to be offered at his low-income school located in a particularly rough Oakland neighborhood. And while he was excited to see a new world, he knew…
When cancer robbed Tim of his strength and sight, a trip through the Grand Canyon and a moment at the river’s edge helped him get them back. Now, the No Barriers mindset keeps him pushing forward. When Tim was 15, T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia nearly ended his life. Per doctors’ warnings, his family was by his side, ready to say their goodbyes.
If you were plugged in this September, chances are you saw the amazing kayaking blind journey through the Grand Canyon. Erik Weihenmayer and Lonnie Bedwell, who are both blind, navigated 277 miles of white water in what became a moving display of the power of the No Barriers Mindset.
When she connected science and the real world, a career began calling. When she connected with people outside of her Virginia neighborhood, it helped her discover herself. And when she connected international travel with her own sense of personal identity, it led her to people and place she’d never have imagined.
COSTA RICA - What can the plight of sea turtles teach a high school student uninterested in science? After the initial glow of watching a female turtle lay hundreds of eggs in the Costa Rican sand faded, two distinct feelings remained for Grace, a senior from a Chicago suburb. Passion. And depth.
I still remember hearing the worry and strife in the elders’ voices as they described the government’s plan to bulldoze through their remote community to build a road. It was the mid-1980s and I was a teenager on an extended family journey through the Fiji Islands. There in Cawaro, a community then only accessed by boat, villagers lived a traditional Fijian lifestyle. The road led to sandalwood groves that developers wanted to harvest. I felt the community's helplessness in the face of imposed development. Even though I had only…
This week I sat down with a few teachers both in Fort Collins, Colo. and in Flagstaff, Ariz. to talk about No Barriers Youth programs, what they mean for students and what they do with teachers.
Much like starting a garden, establishing a global purpose takes focus, work and commitment. Unattended plants whither and best intentions fall to frost. But much like fertile spring soil doesn’t know it’s missing seeds for the coming summer months, young minds can’t quite grasp a world beyond their neighborhoods, computers and social circle. For Adrienne, the seed came not as an answer, but rather a question. Initially attracted to No Barriers Youth’s U.S. Southwest trip for the rafting, Adrienne said she remembers the moment…