At Colorado Academy, we get to make all kinds of great connections. From our SPEAK lecture program to visiting academics who work with our students, this school is a place that serves as a nexus for connecting students and parents with amazing opportunities.  It is the impact of the CA community. One person whom I have really enjoyed getting to know is new CA parent Erik Weihenmayer. You may know of Erik, as he was the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest.  In fact, he is a person who consistently breaks all kinds of barriers. He recently kayaked Grand Canyon. Through his organization, No Barriers, he helps create transformative experiences for a wide range of participants to unleash their human potential.

Erik shared with me a program he personally is leading to take young people–15 to 18-year-old students–to Nepal. The group will include students with diverse interests and varying physical abilities.  They will hike in Nepal and also take part in a cross-cultural experience with Nepalese youth. See description here. Also leading the trip are Bill Barkeley, who was the first deaf-blind individual to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as Mandy Harvey, who is an award-winning singer, who happens to be deaf, who appeared on America’s Got Talent. This will no doubt be a remarkable and life-changing experience.

Erik told me, “When I co-founded No Barriers, I had a vision: that my work would serve not just people with disabilities, but people of all abilities. Through my adventures, I have found that barriers come in all shapes and sizes, from physical barriers like blindness or paraplegia, to more hidden ones, like poverty, trauma, fear, and doubt. But, we are all in this together, and we can all live a life of purpose and meaning.”

Erik says, “Our 2018 Nepal Experience is not a vacation; students will undergo an immersive, beautiful, and challenging two weeks. At the end of it, they will have broken through their own barriers on their way to elevating their peers and the world around them.”

As part of our SPEAK program, we’ve already invited Erik to share his adventures with the CA community next fall.