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

Second annual competition designed to spark ideas for building a world free of barriers, stereotypes and discrimination
Jun 20, 2018 10:00 AM ET

FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 20, 2018 / 3BL Media/ – No Barriers Youth and Wells Fargo announced the selection of 20 middle and high school educators to serve as project leaders for the second annual 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.

In 2017, 14 schools, organizations and educators completed and submitted project proposals as part of their participation in the Global Impact Challenge. The top two finalists focused on the lack of sensory-friendly activities and awareness of hidden disabilities.

“Through the Global Impact Challenge, participants had their eyes opened to what’s possible, not just in their classroom, but in their own backyards and across the country,” says Erik Weihenmayer, No Barriers co-founder, former middle school teacher and a world-renowned adventurer who is blind. “Thanks to the support of Wells Fargo, youth in communities large and small understand themselves to be agents of change and inclusivity as a result of this work.”

The 20 selected teachers will:

  • Attend a training program June 25-27 at the No Barriers headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Create a diverse team of at least 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 disabilities.

  • Present their solutions to a volunteer selection committee with expertise in business and in the field of diversity and inclusion in February 2019.

Finalists will be awarded up to $5,000 to launch their Global Impact Challenge projects in their communities and given the opportunity to attend the June 2019 No Barriers Summit in Lake Tahoe, California to present their project.

“The first Global Impact Challenge was successful in supporting 146 teachers and students become advocates for change,” says Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is thrilled to continue working with even more educators and students who want to help break down barriers and improve the lives of people with disabilities.”

Teachers selected for the 2018 Global Impact Challenge include:

  • Maren Anderson, Drew School, San Francisco, CA

  • Angela Ballou, Greensboro Day School, Greensboro, NC

  • Melissa Barry, Carrboro High School, Carrboro, NC

  • Julie Cain, Pueblo East High School, Pueblo, CO

  • Dennis Gallant, State of Connecticut, Windsor, CT

  • Lauren Garcia, Asa Mercer International Middle School, Seattle, WA

  • Aiko Martin, Colony High School, Ontario, CA

  • Brian McDonald, Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale, NY

  • Tierra McDonald, Myers Park High School, Charlotte, NC

  • April Miller, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate, Irondale, AL

  • Holly Nelson, Bemidji Area Schools, Bemidji, MN

  • Nolan Nguyen, Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay, CA

  • Joy Olenick, Warren Township High School, Gurnee, IL

  • Marissa Potter, Boys & Girls Club Charlestown, Charlestown, MA

  • Sui King Dawn Shum, York Early College Academy, Jamaica, NY

  • Elizabeth Sigman, Chemawa Indian School, Salem, OR

  • Lauren Stone, Tallmadge City Schools, Tallmadge, OH

  • Althea Sylvia, Blackstone Valley Prep High School - Cumberland, RI

  • Rick Towle, Noblesville East Middle School, Noblesville, IN

  • William York, Turtle River Montessori, Jupiter, FL


​About Erik Weihenmayer
Erik Weihenmayer is a No Barriers co-founder, educator and a world renowned adventurer who is blind. His new book, “No Barriers: A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon,” recently hit shelves. He has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine, on HBO Real Sports, and, most recently was named as one of the top 25 most adventurous men of the past 25 years by Men’s Journal. A middle school teacher for many years, Erik recently surprised his former student, Meghan McCain, co-host of ABC’s The View in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. 

About No Barriers USA
What barriers do you face? This question lies at the heart of our organization. Whether in our personal lives, at work, or in our communities, we all face challenges that can prevent us from reaching our full potential. At No Barriers, we believe that what’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way. No Barriers empowers people of all walks of life to overcome obstacles, live a life of purpose, and give back to the world, all through our ground-breaking curriculum, the No Barriers Life. Learn more about No Barriers at

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,200 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

For more information and interviews, contact:

Jaime Donnelly
Marketing Director - No Barriers USA
(970) 484-3633 x 316
(970) 412-3653 (cell)


Lisa Westermann
Wells Fargo
(415) 845-7759 (cell)