Celebrating Young Heroes: Announcing the 2023 Barron Prize Winners

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Blog, For Educators, For Young Heroes, Heroes, News

In a world where youth often inspire hope and change, the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes has been recognizing and celebrating remarkable young people since its establishment in 2001. This prestigious award annually honors 25 outstanding leaders, between the ages of 8 and 18, who have demonstrated their commitment to positively impacting people and the environment. I’m honored to announce the winners of the 2023 Barron Prize, who join a legacy of young heroes that spans over two decades.


2023 Barron Prize Winners


Alexander Knoll, Idaho

At just 18 years old, Alexander Knoll created the Ability App, a crowdsourced web app that revolutionizes the way people with disabilities navigate public spaces and businesses. This innovative tool provides an essential road map for accessibility, making the world more inclusive for everyone.


Armando Parrish, Texas

Armando Parrish, also 18, founded Project Lorenzo, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness. His organization provides technology certification courses and job assistance to homeless individuals in shelters, helping them rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.


Atreya Manaswi, Florida

Seventeen-year-old Atreya Manaswi developed an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution to protect honeybee hives from virulent pests. His invention contributes to preserving these vital pollinators and the ecosystems they support.


Grace Sun, California

Grace Sun, aged 17, founded Melodies for Remedies, a nonprofit that brings healing and joy to senior citizens, including those living with Alzheimer’s disease, through the performing arts. Her work enriches the lives of those often forgotten in our society.


Jonah Larson, Wisconsin

Jonah Larson, 15, founded Jonah’s Hands, a project that raised an astounding $75,000 to improve schools in the Ethiopian village where he was born, using his passion for crocheting as a force for good.


Mateo Lange, Michigan

Mateo Lange, aged 14, created a community recycling program in his small town that has raised over $250,000 for more than 50 local youth organizations. His efforts showcase the power of grassroots environmental initiatives.


Matias Habib, Illinois

Eighteen-year-old Matias Habib developed an eco-friendly pesticide to combat the invasive Japanese Beetle, helping to protect U.S. agriculture from the devastating effects of this invasive species.


Nathan Elias, Texas

Seventeen-year-old Nathan Elias created InvasiveAI, an app that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify invasive species and predict their spread, supporting conservation efforts worldwide.


Rafi Ahmad, Illinois

Rafi Ahmad, also 17, founded Operation Viridis. This nonprofit climate justice initiative addresses environmental racism in his hometown of Chicago by planting trees in disadvantaged neighborhoods, ultimately enhancing the urban environment.


Rahul Vijayan, Texas

Sixteen-year-old Rahul Vijayan launched Farm to Tray, providing schools with hydroponic gardening systems to grow fresh produce for their school lunch programs, promoting food sustainability and healthy eating habits.


Rania Zuri, West Virginia

Eighteen-year-old Rania Zuri founded the LiTEArary Society to end book deserts and support early childhood literacy for disadvantaged children ages 3 to 5. Her nonprofit has donated over $200,000 worth of new books to more than 21,000 children.


Rishab Jain, Oregon

Eighteen-year-old Rishab Jain developed ICOR, an open-source biomedical tool designed to enable rapid vaccine production and address the rising cost of pharmaceuticals. His work has the potential to save countless lives.


Rory Hu, California

Thirteen-year-old Rory Hu conducted yearlong research to find a viable solution to Colony Collapse Disorder, a threat to beekeepers and ecosystems alike. Her dedication to preserving our environment is inspiring.


Shrusti Amula, Maryland

Sixteen-year-old Shrusti Amula founded the Rise N Shine Foundation to reduce food waste and combat climate change in her community through food recovery and composting programs at local schools and organizations.


Te’Lario Watkins, Ohio

Fifteen-year-old Te’Lario Watkins is an avid gardener who created The Garden Club Project to help end hunger in his community and encourage kids to eat healthier. He has donated more than 300 pounds of produce to food-insecure families.


These remarkable young leaders embody the spirit of the Barron Prize, showing us all what can be achieved with determination, compassion, and a desire to make the world a better place. Their stories are a testament to the impact that young people can have on our communities and the planet. As we celebrate these 2023 Barron Prize winners, we are reminded that change begins with one person, regardless of age, and that each of us has the potential to be a hero in our own way. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you for inspiring us with your extraordinary efforts!