Expedition To Benefit Children of The Fallen


With support from generous donors, this program invites children of fallen service members and first responders to carry on the legacy of their loved ones as they experience the transformational power of rafting down the San Juan River. This challenging and empowering expedition will provide opportunities to unite adversities and embrace vulnerability to live a No Barriers Life.

Throughout this 9-day journey, participants 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.

I will never forget the experiences I participated in, and the people I met. It’s an amazing thing to be surrounded by people who I don’t have to explain myself to.

Amelia, No Barriers Youth Alum

It’s always nice to be part of something where everyone has a very similar story. They understand why I am the way I am and the same goes for me. This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Abby, No Barriers Youth Alum


Application and Details

Dates and Application Deadline: Priority will be given to applications received early

  • Final Application Deadline: March 15, 2019
  • Dates: July 22 – 29, 2019
  • Location: Based in Phoenix, AZ and on the San Juan River
  • Ages: 14 – 18 and currently enrolled in high school
  • Cost: Thanks to generous scholarship support from passionate donors, this program is fully-funded for the students who are selected to participate
    • Cost Does Not Include: Airline fees (e.g. bags, minor traveling alone, etc.), meals while en route to/from Arizona, personal items, spending money or emergency funds to cover unexpected expenses that do NOT fall within the travel insurance plan benefits.

Eligibility: This program is designed for adventuresome high school students, ages 14-18. 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. This program is open to youth who have lost a parent or loved one who served in the military or as a first responder (i.e. law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS providers)

Group Make-Up: This program will be comprised of 15-20 students from around the country who apply and are selected to participate. In addition, the group will include a team of guides, facilitators, and mentors from NBY and partnering organizations.

Scholarship Requirements: In exchange for the generous scholarship support, selected participants will be expected to complete the requirements listed below before, during, and after the expedition.

Curriculum & Requirements

Phase 1: Thoughtful Preparation

  • • Participate in 3-5 preparatory conference calls in the spring of 2019 to help prepare for the expedition.

Phase 2: Expedition

  • • Participate in No Barriers programming and leadership activities while rafting the San Juan River!

Phase 3: Meaningful Returns

  • • Make a “No Barriers Pledge” incorporating what you learned into meaningful action in your daily life.
  • • Submit a “letter of impact” describing how the program impacted you to be shared with program donors.

Questions? Please email Nate Gillette at nate.gillette@nobarriersusa.org or call him at (970) 484-3633 ext. 314 with any additional questions.

I was able to grow in problem solving and in confidence which can help me make an impact on the world.

It has mainly improved my knowledge of people with visual impairments and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Whether through the activities, making new friends, or leading the blind. I also think I have gotten to know myself better and respect nature more.

I feel like I can trust more people now. Iam also able to make friends easier now. IfI'm feeling upset, all I
need to do is find someone who's willing to listen and help me.