A medieval theory and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of base metals into gold…

by Ron McGinty
Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person to summit Mount Everest was in Naples in November. He spoke to the first graduating class and our Founding Visionary Donors of the No Barriers Learning Afar of SWFL program.

This program is for children preparing to age out of foster care. Each of their personal stories would make you cry, but now hopefully they understand life with a better frame of reference. They are doing better because of their resilient self respect and their new found confidence in trusting others. The program is not a vacation, but a personal encounter to stretch their comfort zones. The program encompasses five months of local training before leaving on an excursion to see a world larger than themselves. The number of eleven young women sounds small to the vast number of children in the system, but it represents the majority of the ones getting closer to ageing out of foster care at eighteen. The number ageing out dwindles due to permanency placements and unfortunately from the Department of Juvenile Justice incarcerations. If you would like to experience a motivating ten minute documentary of their involvement it is on YouTube at:

The elements of the No Barriers core curriculum is prepared from the following topics. Each has a significance to help a child sort through their place in the world outside their circle of comfort and experiences.

Thrillingly, the 2017 program will before boys. The program was expanded to children who are “At Risk” including ones permanently placed in a home. Permanency does not fix the scars because they run deep. The current No Barriers program will accept children in the eighth grade because next year they start high school. The range will be thirteen to eighteen. This offers a larger population for applications.

An exciting aspect of 2017 is the Collier County School System is collaborating to help. We have selected two excellent men counselors with principal level experience, fostered children and have adopted children.

This was a gift from heaven to bring this depth of teaching experience and understanding to lead this population of children. They are currently in the selection process for the students, all from Collier was founded by Erik Weihenmayer. This local program is purely a grass roots effort with no fundraising event. For more information of how you can keep the vision growing, email me at

Ron McGinty, Guardian ad-Litem

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