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Cause for Celebration: Reflecting Back and Looking Ahead as we Enter our 20th Anniversary Year!
Author T. A. Barron founded the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2001 as an award for heroic kids in Colorado. A writer of fantasy stories for young adults, he’d seen firsthand the inspirational power of fictional heroes. With the Barron Prize, he wanted to turn the spotlight on real-life young heroes — everyday kids who are helping their communities or the environment. He hoped their example would inspire other young people to make a difference.
He named the Prize after his mother, Gloria Barron, a quiet hero who continually urged her children to make a positive difference to the world. She lived her own life that way, creating a hands-on nature museum at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind where children could experience the beauty and wonder of nature through touch. The Barron Prize honors her belief that every person has the power to make the world a better place.
The Prize soon grew beyond Colorado to welcome applicants from across the U.S. and Canada. We’ve now honored nearly 500 incredible young heroes ages 8 to 18. They hail from all 50 states and Canada, and together have raised nearly $23 million for their causes. They’re helping the hungry and the homeless, inventing life-saving technologies, protecting our oceans and endangered species, and addressing climate change, among myriad other projects. These young heroes inspire us and so many others to make a positive difference to the world.
With the approach of our 20th anniversary, we decided to go big in celebrating it! Several months ago, we launched our brand new Inspiring Young Heroes website as a way to bring our young heroes’ stories to life. We’re traveling the country to film a number of our winners and their work, and are creating short videos about them. We’ve completed and shared five videos so far, with that many more new ones to come in 2020. Check them out and be inspired!
We’re also excitedly planning the Young Heroes Summit, a gathering of our Barron Prize family to take place in Boulder, Colorado in October 2020. More than a dozen Barron Prize young heroes will act as panelists for two free events — a daytime one for school groups and an evening one for the public. Panelists will talk about their humanitarian, environmental, and STEM-related work to make the world a better place — and will share insights and tips gleaned along the way. Stay tuned for more information as the year progresses.
We’ve loved honoring so many incredible young heroes over the years — and are excited to celebrate 20 years of pure inspiration!
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.