MEET THE WINNERSA yearbook of the winners of the Barron Prize
SavannahLeaf indicates winners who were honored for projects that benefit the environment.
Founder, Pump ’em Up
Wondering why people didn’t just “pump ’em up,” Savannah decided to launch a campaign to help people “save gas and save the planet.” She created a web site that includes environmental facts, tips on properly inflating tires, gas mileage worksheets, and information to help others host “Pump ’em Up” events in their communities. Over the past seven years, Savannah has sent more than 10,000 tire gauges to hundreds of school, Scout, and church groups interested in helping her spread her message. She has also lobbied in Washington, spoken to a crowd of 5,000 on the West Lawn of the Capitol, and met with Senators Clinton, Kerry, and McCain, among others. “I’ve learned that when you really care about something, telling people about it is easy,” says Savannah. “Young people have to stand up for what they believe in.”
Created the film “Darius Goes West”
Age at Winning Prize17
Darius and a group of friends spent months organizing the trip and raising money for it, and then set out to film “Darius Goes West.” The film documents their travels across the U.S. – Darius’s first trip outside his hometown – and the accessibility challenges they encountered. It has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, and has raised thousands of dollars toward a cure for DMD. Darius, now considered an emerging leader in the field of disability rights, travels extensively to speak about the film, DMD, and accessibility. “I can’t believe we were able to do this,” says Darius. “I’ve learned that I can get things done. I can make the world better.”
KelydraLeaf indicates winners who were honored for projects that benefit the environment.
Created a method to remove APFO from contaminated drinking water
A science enthusiast, she began experimenting with ways to check for the presence of APFO in water and within two months, had landed on a successful method. From there, she tackled the tough job of removing and recovering the chemical from contaminated water – all in her lab converted from an old house trailer. Kelydra’s test takes only 30 minutes, is 92% accurate, and costs just pennies, compared to existing testing that can amount to $3,000. She has won international acclaim for her work, ruffled a few feathers at DuPont, and has several patents pending. “Many people here are angry, hurt, and confused over the issue of APFO in their water,” says Kelydra. “I’m in an excellent position to simplify the science and to help.”
EvanLeaf indicates winners who were honored for projects that benefit the environment.
Founder, Red Dragons Conservation Team
Age at Winning Prize11
Evan chose the name Red Dragons because he considers the mythical beast as being “all about possibilities.” Each year, Evan’s group asks classmates, neighbors, and local businesses to sponsor their bowling team, which has raised enough money to purchase over sixteen acres of threatened habitat in Costa Rica. Evan has also launched the Red Dragons Conservation Team website. The site reminds kids that “every little bit counts,” and has inspired children across the country to raise money for conservation efforts. Evan continues his fundraising and outreach, despite a rare and sometimes debilitating intestinal disorder. “The Red Dragons are saving the homes of jaguars, spider monkeys, orchids, sea turtles, and thousands of butterflies,” says Evan. “You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference.”
Creator, Sounds into Syllables
Age at Winning Prize17
Kayla piloted the program with her cousin, who in less than a year had learned the alphabet and how to spell and read over twenty animal nouns. Currently, fifteen Canadian schools are piloting the program in a six-month study with other autistic children, with very promising results so far. Kayla has a patent pending for Sounds into Syllables, and has presented her program at numerous science fairs and to government agencies, hospitals, school boards, and businesses. “Watching my young cousin at family gatherings sparked a desire in me to try to help her cope with autism,” says Kayla. “I want to help her and others like her participate more fully in the world around them.”
Molly and CarlyLeaf indicates winners who were honored for projects that benefit the environment.
Co-Founder, Hives for Lives
Assisted by a team of their peers (volunteer Bee Helpers), the girls harvest, filter and jar the honey; mold the beeswax into honey bear candles and lip balms; and package and ship their products all over the country. When demand outgrew the capacity of their family’s hives, the girls approached nearby Dutch Gold, the second-largest honey producer in the U.S., and secured additional honey from them. They also supplement with honey donations from 4H clubs, and other similar partners. “It feels so good to accomplish your goals and help change the world in some way,” says Carly. “We have to figure out how to make a mark on the world – to make our difference,” adds Molly.
Led a campaign to have Kool Mixx cigarettes pulled from shelves
His group, North Carolina Against Kool Mixx Cigarettes, visited merchants in close proximity to schools and in communities of color, gathering information on the marketing and promotion of Kool Mixx special edition packs. They wrote North Carolina’s Attorney General, asking for help, and signed their letter with thousands of their peers’ signatures. A lawsuit followed and within a few months, the Kool Mixx cigarettes were pulled from shelves. Chad is continuing his work for tobacco-use prevention as a youth advocate for the national Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids. He is currently meeting with the restaurant chain Golden Corral to convince the entire chain to go smoke-free. “A group of teens challenged a major tobacco company and won,” says Chad . “Youth truly do have a voice, and can have a powerful effect on society.”
Hoops of Hope
Age at Winning Prize13
Austin raised $3,000 that day, and realized that by involving more kids, he could make an even bigger difference. He went out and recruited 1,000 kids to each shoot 1,000 free throws, and Hoops of Hope was born. With the help of World Vision, Austin created a web site to encourage even more kids to get involved. Every December 1, on World AIDS day, thousands of kids across the U.S., Europe, and Australia shoot free throws to help Austin’s cause. They have raised money to fund a school and an AIDS testing lab in Zambia, a country hit hard by the AIDS crisis. “You don’t have to wait to be an adult to make a difference,” says Austin. “Just pick your passion and do something!”
Founder, A Book for Mom
Age at Winning Prize17
Jane has certainly accomplished her goal of promoting literacy and strengthening family bonds; prison personnel report that parents spend hours perusing bookshelves as they pick out books for their children, and then inscribe them with heartfelt messages. “I’ve learned that leading a project like this involves persistence and problem solving,” says Jane. “And it involves staying true to your vision.”
NickLeaf indicates winners who were honored for projects that benefit the environment.
Created a program to recycle e-waste
Age at Winning Prize18
Home StateDistrict of Columbia
He soon expanded beyond his school community to the entire D.C. metro area, and began accepting computer hardware – CPUs, printers, monitors, faxes, and small copy machines. Donations poured in and overflowed from the porch into the basement. Nick stacked the items on pallets, wrapped them in shrink-wrap, and arranged for shipments to a recycler. He also rented vans to pick up equipment from the elderly, and donated refurbished computers to low-income students. Nick has collected nearly 5,500 items and has raised $1,842 for Susan G. Komen For the Cure. “I’ve learned that an individual can educate a community about a problem, and work with it to create a solution,” says Nick.
Age 18, MarylandAfton created a company called SAFEH20WEST, which provides inexpensive water testing and education to homeowners who obtain their drinking water from wells.
Age 15, WashingtonDallas created a film and website called Just Yell Fire to teach girls self-defense, also mailing over 10,000 free copies of the film to interested people around the world.
Age 18, WashingtonElizabeth founded Under the Roof Reading Begins, a program that has provided home libraries for over 100 families living in Habitat for Humanity homes.
Age 9, TexasEsteban organized the Joshua Book Project, raising $4,000 to buy 400 books for his school in memory of his friend and reading buddy, Joshua.
Age 18, IllinoisFolake started the Birthday Party Project, which organizes surprise birthday parties for children from low-income families.
Age 14, New YorkGwenn organized a unique evening of international dance and dining that raised over $10,000 to bring a Sudanese refugee woman and her child to the United States.
Age 11, ManitobaHannah founded the LadyBug Foundation which has raised over one million dollars to help Canada’s hungry and homeless.
Age 16, New YorkJames builds and maintains numerous bird nesting boxes at two parks on Staten Island, working closely with Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Age 17, New JerseyJanna founded the Michelle Offsie Memorial Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer, an annual walk that has raised over $350,000 in the past six years.
Age 18, TexasJulia led a group of her peers in raising nearly $30,000 to fund schools for children in Northern Uganda.
Age 18, HawaiiKyle developed Kids Helping Kids with Diabetes, a program that has raised over $43,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Age 16, CaliforniaMarni created Kid Flicks, a non-profit group that has donated over 21,000 movies to children’s hospitals across the country.
Age 13, IllinoisTayler has collected and recycled over 18,000 pounds of aluminum, donating all proceeds — more than $10,000 — to a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Age 18, ArkansasTaylor started a TOPS (The Outreach Program for Soccer) program in his town, allowing children with disabilities the chance to play organized recreational soccer.
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America. Each year, the Barron Prize honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment.
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