Each year, The Barron Prize celebrates outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. These inspiring, public-spirited young people from across North America are doing amazing work for their communities and the environment. I am deeply inspired by the work of these young people, each of whom will each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education. Read on to learn about their important and inspiring projects and join me in congratulating them!
Addison, age 11, of Maryland, who founded Gorilla Heroes to raise awareness and funds to protect endangered mountain gorillas. She has helped raise more than $7,000 for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and The Ellen Fund by selling homemade cookies and lemonade and hosting her annual Gorilla Gala.
Adom, age 15, of South Carolina, who founded Ball4Good, a non-profit that supports communities through sports, including an annual Celebrity Basketball Game. His group has raised more than $70,000 for sixteen local non-profits that serve children.
Anna, age 13, of Massachusetts, who has invented a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that detects microplastics on the ocean floor. She has also written a children’s book, Microplastics and Me, and has raised more than $7,000 to distribute it free to children and libraries in high-need communities.
Charlie and Jeremy, ages 15 and 14, of Oregon, who co-founded Affected Generation, a youth-led non-profit working to fight climate change and to help implement effective climate policy, including Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs bill.
Emma, age 17, of Florida, who co-founded back2earth, a non-profit that reduces the amount of food waste in landfills by providing a free, weekly household composting service to more than 100 families in Miami.
Garyk, age 18, of Maryland, who has worked for five years to develop better life-saving relief food for starving children in developing countries. He is teaming with an NGO to begin producing his food in Malawi.
Grace, age 14, of Maryland, who founded We Cancerve, a non-profit that creates ways for youth to help other children who are homeless, sick, and in foster care. A cancer survivor, Grace has donated more than $65,000 in grants and products to children’s agencies, and has created a free month-long summer day camp for kids.
Jamie, age 17, of Washington, who founded Zero Hour, a non-profit international youth climate justice movement. Her 2018 Youth Climate March brought hundreds of youth to Washington, D.C. and inspired 25 sister marches around the world.
Joseph, age 18, of Illinois, who founded Kids for the Boundary Waters to lead young people in protecting the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mines proposed along the wilderness edge that would cause irreparable damage.
Katherine and Milan, ages 17 and 16, of California, who co-founded Open Sesame Coding for Kids and have taught computer coding skills to more than 100 children living in homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Maanasa, age 16, of Ohio, who invented HARVEST, an inexpensive and globally applicable renewable energy device. It is made primarily of recycled materials costing less than $5.00 and can power a 15-watt LED bulb.
Neil, age 16, of Pennsylvania, who has created an app called PlantumAI to help farmers in developing countries easily identify and treat crop disease, allowing them to maximize yields and reduce their need for toxic pesticides.
Pearl and Addy, age 16, of Michigan, who created Meating the Need for Our Village to provide high-quality, youth-raised food to low-income families. With the help of nearly 20 peers, they have raised and donated 10,000 pounds of meat, along with huge quantities of milk and eggs, to their local food pantry.
Ruby Kate, age 11, of Arkansas, who founded Three Wishes for Ruby’s Residents to support the elderly living in nursing homes. She asks residents what they wish for and then fills their requests, returning with basics like shoes that fit, toothpaste, and fresh fruit.
Will and Matthew, ages 14 and 11, of Massachusetts, who co-founded the Blue Feet Foundation to help save the Blue-Footed Booby. The brothers have sold over 10,000 pairs of bright blue socks to raise more than $80,000 to fund research to study the bird’s decline in the Galapagos Islands.