Around the World in 18 Minutes with No Barriers Youth

By BRIAN SMITH
No Barriers Story Desk

FORT COLLINS – I sat down with Dave Shurna and Julie Dubin, co-founders of No Barriers Youth, to talk about the history of the organization — formally known as Global Explorers — and its transition under the banner of No Barriers USA.
While much of what Global Explorers has been doing won’t change, the new name provides a new way to grow the organization in exciting ways that fit with a No Barriers mindset.
“In the early years, we focused on science, culture, leadership and service,” Shurna says in the podcast. “We would see statistically significant gains in those areas of what skills students were learning. We like that, and still do all those concepts, and are very firm believers in them learning those skills. But one of the things that was missing was that parents and teachers would always tell us that this program would change their kid’s life.
“To me, that’s not about whether they learn science and culture and leadership and service. There is something else there besides those concepts and to me what was missing from that research and what was happening in our programs was much more profound.”
“What was happening was that kids were finding their place in the world and were thinking about the differences they could make and thinking about themselves and their ability to make a difference in a completely new framework. … The core of what we are trying to do at No Barriers is that very same thing that was that was the most transformative thing that every teacher and parent was telling us about.”

For more information about No Barriers Youth, visit here.

The following 18-minute podcast also focuses on how No Barriers Youth works with teachers, what else students get out of the program and where we are headed in the future.