Leading the Way

Leading the Way was developed in partnership with world-renowned blind mountaineer and No Barriers Board Member Erik Weihenmayer in 2006. Leading the Way currently serves blind and visually impaired and deaf and hard of hearing youth, as well as youth with no disability. These unlikely teams of students embark on extraordinary journeys and along the way become strong teams ready to tackle whatever challenges may come. Leading the Way has been featured on ABC Nightline, World News Tonight, Travel Channel, and CBS Sunday Morning.

2016 Program Details 

Peruvian Highlands

This Leading the Way Expedition takes Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth on a life-changing adventure trekking into the heart of the Andes, volunteering with deaf schools in Peru and exploring the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

*More information on dates, price and how to apply coming soon! To receive an email once details are available, please provide your contact information here.


Grand Canyon Sound Academy | A celebration of the NPS Centennial

Group of 20 teenagers from across the U.S. will be selected to journey into the heart of 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 strengths. At the end of this transformative expedition, students emerge as leaders ready to face personal and global barriers with passion and perseverance and inspired and equipped to be the next generation of ambassadors for the National Park Service.

Dates: July 24 - August 4, 2016

Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Ages: 15 - 19

Cost:  $300 + travel to Phoenix, AZ.  In celebration of the National Park Service's 100th birthday, the Natural Sound & Night Skies Division (NSNSD) is providing generous scholarship support substaintially offsetting the cost of the program for participants. 

Eligible Students: Blind, Visually Impaired and Sighted

Apply Here!

Early Deadline: December 4, 2015
Final Deadline: January 8, 2016
*Priority will be given to early applications, but the team will not be finalized until after the late application deadline.)


Ideal participants demonstrate leadership skills and potential, academic merit, an interest in pursuing education outside of the classroom, and an interest in the natural world. An expressed interest in the National Park Service is a plus. No prior outdoor experience is required.

Nominate a Student:

If you know a student who would be interested in either of the two Leading the Way programs, we would love for you to nominate a student here!