Boulder, CO, September 17, 2018 – The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, an award that celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from across the U.S. and Canada, announces its 2018 winners. Established in 2001 by author T. A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. Fifteen top winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.
“Nothing is more uplifting than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says T. A. Barron. “The goal of the Barron Prize is to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their example will encourage others to take action.”
This year’s winning achievements address a wide range of important issues, including water conservation, disease prevention, protecting national parks, saving endangered wildlife, providing food for those in need, helping people with disabilities, and more.
The 2018 Gloria Barron Prize winners are:
Alex Mancevski, 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 Pizano, 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 Neff, 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 Wayner and Mercedes Thompson, age 17, of Maryland, who co-founded Baltimore Beyond Plastic
Claire Vlases, 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 Leroux, 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 Bennett, 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 Granet , 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 Hinson, 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 Deans, age 16, of Ontario, who has invented the NOGOS water filter for use in developing countries. His filter costs just two dollars to manufacture and is made from three
readily-available materials: sugar, sand, and seashells.
Robbie Bond, 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 Eimers, 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 O’Neil, 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 Ramachandran, 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 Bell, 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.
Since its inception, the Gloria Barron Prize has honored nearly 450 young heroes and has won the support of Girl Scouts of the USA, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, and the National Youth Leadership Council, among other organizations. The Gloria Barron Prize welcomes applications from young people residing in the U.S. and Canada. The online application system for 2019 opens January 7th and the deadline for entries is April 15th. For more information, please visit www.barronprize.org.
In addition, T. A. Barron is running a year-long #SparkGoodness social media campaign to recognize everyday acts of goodness. Through October, anyone sharing their good deeds and acts of positivity at www.sparkgoodness.com is eligible to win one of several monthly prizes. At the end of 2018, a Grand Prize winner will be selected from all the winning entries throughout the year.