No Barriers Youth, Wells Fargo Select 20 Teachers for Global Impact Challenge

“The Summit will serve as a platform for idea generation and exploration to help teachers and students together become agents for change,” said Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo.

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No Barriers Youth and Wells Fargo (No. 9 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) announced the selection of 20 middle and high school educators to serve as ambassadors for the Global Impact Challenge, a diversity and inclusion competition designed to spark the best ideas from students for building a world free of barriers, stereotypes and discrimination.

“At No Barriers, we gather people from all walks of life and inspire them to discover their full potential,” says Erik Weihenmayer, No Barriers co-founder, former middle school teacher and a world renowned adventurer who is blind. “At this year’s No Barriers Summit, we will equip teachers with the necessary tools to help students dream big and break down barriers through the Global Impact Challenge.”

The 20 selected teachers will:

  • Attend the 2017 No Barriers Summit in North Lake Tahoe, CA June 1-4, 2017 to experience the No Barriers Life and learn about the challenge.
  • Create a diverse team of a minimum of six youth from their schools to develop and fine tune their ideas over the course of six workshops. The teams will consist of students with disabilities and those without.
  • “Pitch” their solutions to a volunteer selection committee of business experts and start-up specialists during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

During the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, finalists will be awarded prize money of up to $5,000 to launch their proposed projects in their communities and will get a chance to attend the 2018 No Barriers Summit in New York City.

“The Summit will serve as a platform for idea generation and exploration to help teachers and students together become agents for change,” says Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is excited to work with educators who want to challenge their students and generate creative solutions that help break down barriers.”

Teachers selected for the Global Impact Challenge include:

  • Charles Armstrong-Hicks, Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Boston, MA
  • Raymond Baker, Hinsdale South, Hinsdale, IL
  • Matthew Baker, The Ogden International School of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Christopher Bargas, ASSETS Academy, Alvin, TX
  • Carolina Castro-Skehan, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, Bronx, NY
  • Michael Eckerman, Century High School, Rochester, MN
  • Jami Fooshee, Deerpark Middle School, Austin, TX
  • Nadia Goodvin, Grady High School, Atlanta, GA
  • Briana Gustafson, Deforest Area High School, DeForest, WI
  • Mary Jane Hollander, Peachtree Middle School, Dunwoody, GA
  • Jen Karcich, William J. Johnston Middle School, Colchester, CT
  • Caroline Liebman, Lindblom Math and Science Academy, Chicago, IL
  • Jeremy Major, Sandtown Middle School, Atlanta, GA
  • Megan Mimms, Greensboro Day School, Greensboro, NC
  • Brian Surina, Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago, IL
  • Sean  Reimers, Amandla Charter School, Chicago, IL
  • Maria Rodriguez, Bishop Lynch High School , Dallas, TX
  • Daniel Rosenberg, Ridgewood High School , Norridge, IL
  • Keyla Thompson, The Oakwood School, Greenville, NC
  • Sylvia Troxell, Hill Country Middle School, Austin, TX

The Summit includes a star-studded celebrity and musical lineup to inspire educators. Marlee Matlin will speak about her achievements as an Oscar-winning actress who is deaf and sign language advocate. Platinum recording artists X Ambassadors, whose keyboardist Casey Harris is blind, will deliver an intimate on-stage interview and acoustic performance.

More information about the Summit is available at: http://www.nobarrierssummit.org.

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