An effort to foster creativity and develop projects
No Barriers USA and Wells Fargo & Company announced the yearlong competition winners of the 2019 Global Impact Challenge. The challenge is to inspire the best ideas from high school and middle school students for building a world free of barriers, stereotypes and discrimination. The soul of the challenge is to equip teachers with necessary tools to help students dream big and break barriers.
In June 2019, 20 middle and high school educators across the U.S. participated in a three-day training program at the No Barriers Summit in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Following the training, the educators recruited diverse teams of students and followed an online curriculum designed to foster creativity and develop projects to address local diversity, accessibility and inclusion issues.
This year’s teams designed amazing projects that addressed challenges in their communities, with many deserving consideration for the top prize.
“No Barriers unleashes the potential of educators and their students, giving them the mindset and tools to break through barriers and lead with purpose,” said Andrea Delorey, No Barriers Experience Design and Impact Director.
The Global Impact Challenge winners
Two first-place teams were awarded $5,000 to implement their projects and invited to present at the 2020 No Barriers Summit on Sept. 18 in San Francisco:
- Compass Community Collaborative, Fort Collins, Colo., included 15 students led by teacher Bonnie Cowen. The team focused on creating a curriculum, by teens for teens that addresses mental health education in schools.
- North Windy Ridge Intermediate, Weaverville, N.C., included eight students led by teacher Jeremy Aten. The team focused on destigmatizing ADHD in their school and developing programs to help those students succeed.
Two runner-up teams were awarded $1,500 to implement their projects:
- Disability Network of Northern Michigan, Grayling, Mich., included five students led by teachers Kristen Conrad and Caitlin Chlosta. The team focused on developing a program for youth in lock-up to make community connections and discover passions to help positively fill free time once they transition back into the community.
- Conrad Ball Middle School, Loveland, Colo., included 18 students led by teacher Andrew Hinerfeld. The team focused on creating a space within their school where students who deal with sensory overload can go to reset and recalibrate in order to succeed.
“We’re continually amazed at the enthusiasm and creativity the teachers and students bring to the challenge,” said Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. “With ideas like these, the possibilities are endless for creating a more diverse and inclusive society for all.”