BLOGThe latest Barron Prize News
Lessons Learned While Doing Good in Trying Times
We recently asked several winners and honorees to reflect on the past year and offer any lessons learned and insights gained as they’ve adapted their work during the pandemic. Here are the wise words they shared.
My nonprofit Ball4Good had to be modified to suit remote audiences. Using live streaming, online mailing lists, GoFundMe, and more, we have thankfully been able to maintain supporter engagement. Through this experience I have solidified my understanding of the importance of communication. Without open communication lines, our supporters likely would have been in the dark and unaware of Ball4Good happenings. I also learned the importance of maintaining positive morale, which is what allowed us to spread joy in uncertain times.
Additionally, with the divisive racial climate, I was able to use my platform to speak out for justice. As a result, Ball4Good was able to support the funding of a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Overall, I am thankful for the opportunities to learn over the past year.
This past year taught me that trust is the foundation of healthy relationships, which make up any successful service work. These hard times have revealed to me the strength of my community, and I have been blown away by what we can accomplish working together.
I spend almost 15 hours a week on Zoom, but I try and maximize the time my team spends. Sometimes we are getting down to business and other times we are having some fun, throwing dance parties, and just sharing about our personal lives! Making an impact starts on the individual level, and though we are all waiting to get back in person, there is so much we can all do to keep pushing everyone forward!
While I would never want to repeat a year of Zoom school, I’ve learned the importance of pivoting and creating new paths for my pursuits, even when doing so might require a little extra creativity, effort, and perseverance. Embracing opportunities rather than lamenting losses is a great way to forge forward!
In a weird way, thanks to technology, many opportunities have actually expanded in the COVID landscape. Like so many others, I’ve been inspired to see how people of all ages have stepped up over the past year, through social justice work, healthcare advocacy, political engagement, charitable donations, and more. There’s been an outpouring of human compassion and outreach. I’d like to think it’s a silver lining of what has otherwise been a very difficult time for so many of us.
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a program of the nonprofit organization Young Heroes Project, 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.