Your personal transformation is what drives our success. It is what we crave. If the lens through which you see and navigate life is forever changed, we have fulfilled our mission.
Thoughtful preparation is the foundation on which the transformative expedition stands. It gives vital context allowing you to experience your expedition more fully; it teaches you about the people and places you’ll visit, providing deeper connections; it pushes you to grow, giving you a toolbox of skills you’ll use the rest of your life.
No Barriers Youth provides a variety of resources to help ensure the preparatory process is as impactful, informative and efficient as possible:
Fundraising Travel is expensive. We understand the burden of increased costs in airfare and program fees on families and that fundraising usually needs to be a priority during the preparatory process. We also believe that working to raise funds can be a vital step in the personal growth and development among participants, resulting in increased commitment and investment in their experience. To that end, we have developed a user-friendly online fundraising tool which enables groups to customize their own messages and share them seamlessly. Simply visit this site and follow the step by step instructions. Once registered, the tool provides a variety of fundraising strategies, ideas and support.
Support Embarking on a program of this nature can seem intimidating… but rest assured you won’t go at it alone! Every group is assigned a Group Manager or Liaison who is always just a phone call or email away. From booking airfare to questions on the packing lists, he or she supports groups through every step of our program. For groups traveling with a lead teacher (or chaperone), a set of additional resources is also provided on top of the Curriculum to aid in the preparation. Sample items include: destination-specific materials (books, maps, wildlife guides, etc.) and a series of No Barriers Youth program handbooks outlining everything from required forms to packing lists to parent meeting agendas and recommended immunizations.
You'll step out of your comfort zone and into the rugged, yet pristine wilderness of Alaska. You'll challenge yourself with a strenuous hike and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the icefield that feeds all the glaciers of Kenai Fjords. The next day you'll watch from water as those same glaciers calve into the ocean. You'll stand on the bow and watch as Dall's Porpoise play in the boat's surf, and Bald Eagles fly overhead.
With a strong native population whose cultural history and day-to-day lives are uniquely tied to the land, you'll examine how resource consumption, rising seas, and a changing climate affect these exceptionally sensitive ecosystems. You'll visit two National Parks and learn what our nation is doing to preserve these amazing landscapes and the species that reside within them. You see Grizzly Bears. You see arctic tundra. You see the tallest peak in North America - and your journey has just begun. You decide what you want to understand. You decide that you're ready to unleash your potential and discover the power you have to make a difference in this world.
Upon returning home, your adventure in Alaska fades into a distant memory. Until one day you hear a story on the news about a proposed drilling project in an Alaskan wildlife refuge. You remember the awe-inspiring expanse of untrammeled land you saw, and the wild Grizzly Bear cubs playing on the soft, mossy Arctic tundra.
You remember why it's called America's Last Frontier and you're brought back to the wilderness that inspired you not only to fight for the land, but to get out and enjoy it while you still can. You remember the conversation with your Expedition Leader that inspired you to pursue your dream. You feel the new confidence you gained and feel ready to tackle the barriers in your life. You laugh remembering a joke your guide told you while you were hiking through the forest. It all comes flooding back, and it dawns on you: This really was about far more than just a cool trip. This was a fundamental shift in perspective, a new mindset, a new path to travel.
Just as the preparation lays the groundwork for the expedition, the return process is fundamental in rounding out the transformative journey. To help with integrating the experience into day-to-day life, every No Barriers Youth participant creates and implements a Global Citizenship Project after their return home. And now what?! Well, it’s time you start looking for your next call to adventure!