Learning AFAR Chicago: Costa Rica

No Barriers Youth, in partnership with AFAR Media, and with support from the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, is excited to invite you to be part of an amazing educational travel program: Learning AFAR.

No Barriers and our aforementioned partners share a similar vision: to make the life-changing power of authentic, experiential travel available to all students regardless of their economic background. No Barriers is providing nearly 100% support for a total of 20 low-income Chicago high school students and 4 educators to participate in the 2017 Learning AFAR Chicago program. We will be sending the selected students on a 14-day expedition to Costa Rica. We are seeking students of low-income backgrounds with no previous travel experience. Successful student applicants will portray academic merit and/or leadership potential and the desire to improve their lives.

Itinerary Overview

You and your group will be traveling to Costa Rica to explore all the cultural and natural beauty the country has to offer. This trip will take you to explore the wildlife of Carara National Park, go ziplining through the forests of Monteverde, and do service projects for local communities in San Luis, all while building leadership skills and learning about a culture different than your own. At the end of this transformative expedition, students emerge as leaders ready to face personal and global barriers with passion and perseverance.

Download Additional Information and Program Details Here

Expedition 1:  July 31 – August 13, 2017
Expedition 2:  August 14 – 27, 2017

Location: Costa Rica

Ages: High School Students ages 13-19

Cost: FREE! All expenses will be covered except for souvenir money and necessary gear items (~$150-$300)

Eligibility and Acceptance Criteria

-Must attend high school within Oak Park, River Forest, Austin, Cicero, Berwyn, Forest Park, and Maywood districts.

-Must be a high school student age 13-19 (preference will be given to freshman – ongoing juniors)

-No previous travel experience (scholarships are reserved for students who have never traveled internationally and have had limited domestic travel opportunities)

-To qualify for this program, household income must be at or below these levels for the number of persons in the household:

2 person family: $31,860
3 person family: $35,157.50
4 person family: $42,437.50
5 person family: $42, 615
6 person family: $48,855
7 person family: $55,095
8 person or more family: $55,201

– Academic standing of GPA higher than 2.5

– 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

Group Makeup

Two groups of 10 high school students each will be selected from various communities throughout the Chicago area. Each group will travel to Costa Rica during the months of July and/or August. Two teachers (Group Leaders) and two No Barriers Expedition Leaders will be accompanying each group of 10.

Application Deadline

Educator Deadline: February 27, 2017

Educator Application Available Here

Student Deadline: March 31, 2017

Student Application Available Here

*The Learning AFAR applications must be submitted online. If you need a paper copy, please contact rachel.strommen@nobarriers.org to request one.