Since 2001, The Barron Prize has been awarded to more than 100 young people whose projects make a positive difference in the world. This national award is meant to highlight the idea that every single one of us — regardless of gender, race, age, or anything else — can find great qualities in ourselves. Can make a difference with our lives. And, yes. Can be a hero.
Alex, age 17, of Texas, who founded Health Through Science, a non-profit working to eradicate preventable diseases — especially pediatric Type 2 Diabetes and obesity — by matching high school-age science coaches with underserved elementary students.
Armando, age 18, of Illinois, who created the Bridge Tutoring Program to pair young students in under-resourced urban communities with high-achieving high school-age mentors who offer free, weekly, after-school tutoring.
Bria, age 11, of South Dakota, who founded Faces of the Endangered to protect endangered species through the sale of her artwork. She has sold more than 250 paintings of endangered animals and donated over $33,000 to animal conservation groups.
Claire and Mercedes, age 17, of Maryland, who co-founded Baltimore Beyond Plastic to reduce trash and plastic pollution in their city on the Chesapeake Bay. Their non-profit of more than 500 students has convinced the Baltimore City Council to pass a citywide ban on Styrofoam food containers.
Claire, age 15, of Montana, who created the Solar Makes Sense initiative and raised the $118,000 needed to install solar panels on her middle school. She has sparked a movement in her school district and community, inspiring a new commitment to green building.
Genevieve, age 12, of Quebec, who created Milkweed for Monarchs to help protect migratory monarch butterflies. She raises and plants native milkweed – monarchs’ sole food source during their caterpillar phase – and has logged more than 500 hours conducting research on the butterflies.
Harry and Heath, ages 13 and 9, of Massachusetts, who co-founded Bennett Brothers Balm after learning of their young friend’s cancer diagnosis. The brothers have raised more than $12,000 to support pediatric cancer research through sales of their hand-made line of lip and body balms.
Isaiah, age 18, of California, who founded the San Diego Chill, a non-profit that pairs children with developmental disabilities with high school-age mentors who teach the younger kids how to skate and play ice hockey.
Kenzie, age 13, of North Carolina, who founded the non-profit Make a Difference Food Pantry to provide nutritious food in a compassionate setting for those in need. She has distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food to over 400,000 people.
Marcus, age 16, of Ontario, who has invented the NOGOS water filter for use in developing countries. His filter costs just $2.00 to manufacture and is made from three readily-available materials — sugar, sand, and seashells.
Robbie, age 10, of Hawaii, who created Kids Speak for Parks, a non-profit that is building an army of activists, including fourth-grade students (who can visit our national parks free of charge), who will speak up to protect our national parks and monuments.
Robby and Emma, ages 16, and 12, of Michigan, who founded the non-profit Eimers Foundation to help people in need. They have raised more than $80,000 to fund their weekly Sharings for the homeless, distributing food, blankets, and other necessities.
Shelby, age 17, of California, who founded her non-profit Jr Ocean Guardians to educate young children about ways they can protect our oceans and planet. She also created the #NoStrawNovember movement and is working on legislation to eliminate plastic straws in California.
Shreya, age 14, of California, who founded the non-profit Grey Water Project to promote the safe reuse of grey water, along with water conservation, as a way to address drought. Her outreach includes curriculum for elementary students and a partnership with the United Nations’ Global Wastewater Initiative.
Tabitha, age 18, of Utah, who founded Pawsitive Pawsibilities, a non-profit that has raised more than $130,000 to place nine service dogs free of charge with people challenged by physical disabilities.
Please join me in celebrating the inspiring passion and imagination of this year’s winners!