Children of the Fallen

Nearly 20,00 children lost a U.S. Military parent over the last 35 years.

We operate on the premise that all youth have the capacity to thrive, and that our experiences provide a platform for conceiving a new vision for the future. At No Barriers we believe in connecting people to their purpose and potential. That’s why we are out to prove that there is something extraordinary that lies within us all so we can harness life’s challenges and opportunities. We believe a No Barriers Life is the relentless quest to become, grow and contribute our absolute best to the world. Our programs provide students with the tools to be resilient, explore and innovate, build community and collaborate. Ultimately it teaches them to serve others and live a life of purpose.

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. 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 Alumn

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 Alumn


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

Dates: June 23 – July 1, 2017  |  Application Deadline: Closed
Dates: July 7 – 15, 2017  |  Application Deadline: Closed

*Note: Two educator references are required as part of your application. References can include: a current or former teacher, coach, mentor, boss,or someone who is familiar with the applicant’s character and skills. Family members are not allowed. Complete the reference form here.

Location: Based in Phoenix, AZ and on the San Juan River

Ages: 14 – 18 years old and currently enrolled in high school

Cost: Thanks to generous scholarship support from partner organizations, this is a program is fully-funded for the students who are selected to participate

*Cost includes: up to $500 airfare to and from Phoenix, AZ

*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 youth 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.

Group Make-Up: This program will be comprised of 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 following requirements before, during, and after the expedition.


Phase 1: Thoughtful Preparation

  • Participate in 3-5 preparatory conference calls in the spring of 2016 to help prepare for the expedition. Each conference call will have 1-2 hours of necessary homework to be completed in advance.
  • Research and prepare a 5-10 minute educational presentation on a topic relevant to the ecology and culture of the US Southwest.

Phase 2: Transformative Expedition

  • Present for 5-10 minutes to the group on the subject you researched.
  • Participate in science and leadership activities.

Phase 3: Meaningful Return

  • 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 Rachel Strommen at or call her at (970) 484-3633 ext. 314 with any additional questions.

Children of Fallen Patriots