The Gloria Barron Award for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring young people from the United States and Canada who are helping to make the world a better place. The young heroes we honor demonstrate that anyone can make a difference, regardless of age. We shine the spotlight on these dedicated young people to inspire countless others with their examples.
If you know a young person who is making a difference, be sure to encourage them to apply for our 2023 award cycle. online application is now open for young leaders to access and begin compiling their materials. Applications are due April 15 and winners will be announced at the end of September.
Founded in 2001 by author TA Barron, the Baron’s Award annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders between the ages of 8 and 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people or the environment. Fifteen grand prize winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or graduate studies.
Meet the recent winners of the Gloria Barron Award for Young Heroes
Here are some of the fantastic things that recent winners are doing to help protect the planet, along with their encouraging and insightful words of wisdom.
Anna DeVolld based Promote our pollinators raise awareness of the importance and devastating decline of pollinators and provide ways to promote their population growth.
“Find something you’re passionate about, no matter how small, and see how you can use it to change the world,” says Anna.
Aseel Rawashdeh developed an inexpensive and environmentally friendly solution solution to mosquito-borne diseasescreating a larvicide that could be produced in industrial quantities.
“I realized the power of dedicating myself to a cause,” says Aseel. “What kept me going was the prospect of contributing to a solution to a global problem.”
Austin Picinich based Save our salmon through art to create vibrant public art projects in the Greater Seattle Area that engage, educate and empower communities to restore salmon spawning streams.
“I learned that the power of WE can start with one person – even if that person is just a high school student who loves art,” Austin says.
Jack Daltonknown as the environmental childworks to protect critically endangered orangutans and their rainforest habitat, as well as to educate and inspire people to protect the environment.
“I’ve learned that I can take on tough causes and persevere because it’s the right thing to do,” says Jack. “If you want something to change, you have to do something.”
Karine Samuel founded the Florida chapter of Say goodbye to plastic bagsan international, student-led non-profit organization committed to reducing the amount of plastic on the planet.
“I believe those with the power to fight for change have the responsibility to do so,” says Karina.
Laalya Acharya invented Nereid, an inexpensive and globally applicable device that uses artificial intelligence to detect water contamination in seconds. Its hands-on educational programs, now offered online, have reached thousands of people in nearly a dozen countries.
“Our story has only just begun and I can’t wait to see where it goes!” said Laalitya.
Lucy Westlake based LucyClimbs raise awareness of the need for drinking water in developing countries by climbing the highest mountains in the world. She is the youngest American woman to have summited Everest.
“I want to inspire a generation of young people to use their gifts and passions to make the world a better place,” says Lucy. “If not me, then who?” If not now, then when?”
Luna Abadia founded on Effective Climate Action Project increase awareness of climate change solutions – especially opportunities for systems thinking and collective action.
“Young people have the loudest voice in this fight. We are the ones with the passion and ability to see the world with hope,” says Luna. “No one is ever too young to raise their voice and make a difference.”
Sri Nihal Tammana created Recycle my batterya non-profit organization that installs free battery recycling bins and educates youth and adults about battery recycling.
“The Earth gives us so much – oxygen, food, water – so it’s important that we give something back when we can,” Nihal says.
Guillaume Charouhis based We are forces of nature and its One Million Mangroves initiative to combat climate change and protect coasts from the effects of sea level rise.
“Young people have a positive attitude,” says Will. “We don’t understand bureaucracy, so we don’t let it stop us.”
Do you know a future young hero?
The Barron Award celebrates the efforts of young people who have demonstrated initiative, tenacity, courage, intelligence, generosity and high moral purpose. We invite young citizens from across North America to visit barronprize.org for more information on the application requirements.
On April 15, we will begin reviewing applications, a process that spans months and involves the head and heart of our selection committee. It is truly inspiring to review hundreds of applications from courageous and compassionate young people. And honestly, it’s a daunting task to choose only 25 young heroes among them. Yet, after much deliberation and debate, we still come to a group of winners and winners who embody so much goodness. It is an honor to shine the spotlight on them so that their work and heroic ideals can inspire us all.
About the Author
Barbara Ann Richman helped launch the Baron’s Award in 2001 and has been its executive director ever since. A graduate of the University of Virginia and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she has taught elementary school in the Boston area, led educational programs at a regional nature center in Colorado, and taught at Fort Lewis College. She has also developed programs for the US Forest Service and many environmental organizations.