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Building a Top-Notch Barron Prize Application:
Tips from our 2021 Young Heroes
Be very intentional about who your recommenders are. They should know your project well, but also know why you would make an excellent recipient of the Prize. Be sure to provide them with resources like the Barron Prize website so they can best articulate why you’d be a great fit.
- Be authentic in sharing your story. Focus on both the actions you took and what you learned from them.
- Don’t be afraid to be personal.
- Reflect on the multifaceted aspects of your work.
- Ask for a recommendation letter from someone who understands why the impact of your work is important to you.
- Highlight why you dedicated time to your work.
- Capture your service project’s impact both qualitatively and quantitatively.
- Address if and how the service project will continue for a lasting impact, if possible, and a growing impact in the future.
- Be sure your service story flows from inspiration to actions taken.
- Describe project partners if any and what they added to your service endeavor.
- For your personal essay, talk to friends and family. I am modest and they helped me see all that I’ve accomplished that maybe I did not think of!
- For the letters of recommendation, I picked people who know me but are also across different fields and know me in different capacities. That way the letters give a good complete picture!
- HAVE FUN! The application is tough but it is about celebrating all the good you do for the world. No matter what happens, you are doing important things for our planet, people, and animals!
- Be proud and confident in your work. Don’t compare your work to past winners and fall into self-doubt.
- Be transparent about your project. If you experienced a challenge, share it and how you overcame it.
- Take the judges on a journey. Share how your project came to be, how it grew, and where you hope it goes. The heroic qualities should not just be reflected by the results but also shown in the process of the project.
- Don’t overthink or attempt to perfect every sentence. Instead, speak from the heart in your unique style.
- Don’t undervalue your project or impact.
- Consider recommenders who have seen the project grow from the beginning and can attest to your leadership in it.
- Request letters from people who have witnessed different parts of the project. For example, someone you partnered with or someone who was impacted by your work.
- Provide your references with a synopsis of your work and total impact to ensure uniformity among their statistics.
- Select a reference that shares an enthusiasm for your work and understands the scope of your project.