ABOUT USGloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
Since its inception, the Barron Prize has awarded more than half a million dollars to hundreds of young leaders and has won the support of the National Geographic Education Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, and National Youth Leadership Council, among other organizations.
“We need heroes today more than ever.” – T. A. Barron
Years since Inception
Number of Young People Honored
plus D. C. & Canada
MEET THE TEAM
T. A. Barron
FounderT.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the winner of the de Grummond Medallion for “lifetime contribution to the field of children’s and young adult literature.” His highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling books include The Lost Years of Merlin (now being developed into a film), The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times bestseller), The Ancient One, and The Hero’s Trail, which profiles heroic young people from diverse backgrounds and inspires young people to think of how they can make a positive difference in the world. He loves to write and hike in Colorado. www.TABarron.com
Barbara Ann Richman
Executive DirectorBarbara Ann Richman helped launch the Barron Prize in 2001 and has served as its Executive Director ever since. She received degrees from the University of Virginia and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and taught elementary school in the Boston area for a number of years. When the Rocky Mountains beckoned, she moved to Colorado to direct educational programming at a regional nature center and to teach at Fort Lewis College. She has also developed curriculum for the U.S. Forest Service and numerous environmental organizations. She continues to live in Colorado where she loves to spend time in the mountains with her family.
T. A. Barron writes about his inspiration for the Barron PrizeGloria Barron, the woman I was lucky enough to know as my mother, never sought fame. She simply lived the life of a teacher who cared deeply about her children and her community. She was always learning: The day before she died, at age ninety-two, she was delighted to discover a new word origin! (The word, by the way, was “spittoon”.) This great old gal never lost her childlike sense of wonder.
My mother believed in the importance of good communication. She encouraged us to write in journals, stories, and letters. Her rule was that a good letter should contain “something funny, something beautiful, and something true.” Beyond that, she continually urged her children to make a positive difference to the world, in whatever ways we chose. She didn’t sermonize; she just lived her own life that way—and hoped that we would, as well.
Her love of children and nature combined to create a remarkable project. For over twenty years, she worked hard to create a unique nature museum at the Colorado School for the Blind—a museum where everything can be touched. Blind kids can experience the grandeur of an eagle by touching its wide wings, just as they can feel a hummingbird’s delicate nest or a polar bear’s rich, soft fur. She never sought any credit for this accomplishment, and the only reward she wanted was the satisfaction of knowing that these kids could now experience some of the wonder and beauty of the natural world. That’s the sort of quiet heroism that countless teachers, parents, and kids show every day. And those people truly hold our world together.
That’s why, when the time came to choose a name for my prize celebrating young heroes, I knew exactly who to name it for—a quiet hero who made a real difference in my life. Someone who never stopped believing in the power of every person to make the world a better place. Someone I loved and admired very much.
OUR SELECTION COMMITTEE
Among our judges are remarkable young people, including former winners of the Barron Prize. Two of them, Shawn Henry and Ashley Shuyler Carter, recently spoke to us about the value of receiving the prize and the opportunity to serve as a member of the selection committee.
My experience as a judge has reinforced my admiration for the Barron Prize. It is a very rewarding process to serve among an amazing group of judges who are passionate about the Barron Prize and truly believe in the potential of every young person to be an agent of change.
2016 Selection Committee Member and 2004 Winner
Program Director, VOYAGES Preparatory High School – South Queens
There is an incredible amount of research that goes into the judging process, as well as genuine empathy and debate during the selection discussions. I love getting to learn about these truly special young people across the country every year. I am inspired by their creativity, heart, curiosity, and ambition, and their earnest desire to use that creativity to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Ashley Shuyler Carter
2016 Selection Committee Member and 2001 Winner
COO, CareerWise Colorado
OUR GLACIER LILY EMBLEM
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.