Editor's Note: This is the second installment of our Squad Shout-Out series, created with the intent shine a spotlight on the fantastic organizations we've met during our journey - from the classrooms at MIT, to the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, to our headquarters in Boston - who are working hard to make the world a better place. Check out our first squad shout-out here.
Envision a beautiful mountaintop filled with the happy smiling faces of people of all ability levels enjoying the opportunity to go on adventures and try new things in a supportive environment where there are no limits - physical or mental - to what each individual can accomplish. That's the vibe at the signature Summit - which team GRIT will be attending for the second year in a row - hosted in Colorado each year by No Barriers, an organization whose mission is to "unleash the potential of the human spirit."
Who creates an organization like No Barriers? Someone who knows a thing or two about breaking them down. Erik Weihenmayer began losing his vision at age 13 due to retinoschisis, an eye disease characterized by the abnormal splitting of the retina's neurosensory layers, but he refused to let his diagnosis define him. On May 25th 2001, Erik became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. In 2008, he climbed the Carstensz Pyramid on the island of Papua New Guinea, completing the Seven Summits, which is composed of the highest point on every continent. It was through these remarkable accomplishments that Erik began to envision a way to help others overcome the barriers in their own lives - and soon enough, No Barriers was born.
Today, No Barriers provides services through three different programs: No Barriers Youth which provides programs for young people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, No Barriers Warriors, which provides programs for veterans, and the No Barriers Summit, the organization's signature event which takes place over the course of three days and is open to all participants.
This year, the No Barriers Summit will include speakers, innovation in adaptive technology, a film festival and concert, and the opportunity to participate in more than 50 adaptive activities in sports, adventure, arts, and education. All the adventure aside, what we love most about No Barriers is the way it fosters a community of thousands of people of all abilities who believe in the power of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles.
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The GRIT Freedom Chair is the most versatile chair on the market, designed from the ground up to handle any terrain. From trails to grass to snow, the Freedom Chair is built for you to push yourself. Born out of research at MIT, the Freedom Chair's patented easy-push levers reduce shoulder strain and put you in control of your mobility. Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at www.gogrit.us