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“It Has Truly Inspired Me to Continue My Work”:
Recent Winners Share the Impact of Winning the Barron Prize

by | Oct 29, 2020 | Miscellaneous

Each fall, we love hearing from our newly announced winners how much it means to them to win the Barron Prize. We asked our 2020 winners if we could share their reflections on what it feels like to be named a winner and how winning the Prize is impacting them and their work. Here are the lovely and heartfelt things they had to say.
Winning the Barron Prize is such an incredible honor and has undoubtedly been the highlight of my high school experience. Receiving the unexpected phone call that I had won, alongside so many other outstanding teens, was such a surreal feeling. To be recognized for Reaching Out with Robotics and to know that I am making a positive impact in my community is something I will always cherish and I am so grateful to the Barron Prize for this distinction.
Kavi Dolasia

Reaching Out with Robotics

When I got the phone call telling me that I won the Barron Prize, I half didn’t believe it was real. I am honored to be part of such an amazing group of kids who are changing the world in so many different ways. I hope to someday meet all of the awardees in person and learn from them. With the support of the Barron Prize family, I know my organization will continue to grow, funding even more hope, one cookie at a time. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Dana Perella


Receiving the Barron Prize has been an incredibly gratifying experience! Joining the Barron Prize community and everything it stands for has truly inspired me to continue my work developing cancer therapies. It’s amazing to see the positive impact that everyone in the community has devoted themselves to enacting, which has further uplifted me in my own endeavors.

In addition, I’m grateful to have been provided this platform to discuss my work and encourage others to apply themselves towards making a difference in what they are passionate about. The fight against cancer is never-ending, but the Barron Prize has shown me that my computational platforms have had a real impact, which is very humbling and exciting.

Viraj Mehta

Precision Medicine Initiatives

I was beyond excited when I got the phone call notifying me that I was a winner. It was a weird mix of joy, disbelief, and euphoria. I felt honored to have been named a winner and hope to use the resources and recognition from the award to bring my environmental work to new heights.
Bill Tong

Bioma Project

When I learned that I was selected as a Barron Prize winner, I was in disbelief. I could hardly express my feelings because I was overcome with excitement and shock.

My projects, Fresh Hub and Readiness Across Mathematics, would not have been possible without the parlayed efforts from a diverse group of people. To me, the Barron Prize celebrates us all by recognizing the importance of these programs, which I am tremendously grateful for.

I’ll use the award to continue maintaining the educational website, launching the math apps, training younger volunteers, and purchasing supplies for the food distribution events. Another portion of the money will be spent on my college education to deepen my knowledge of society and to increase my capacity to help the community.

Annie Zhu

Fresh Hub

I am so honored to have the opportunity to join the Barron Prize family! I remember when I received the phone call I was so excited to share the stage with such amazing young social entrepreneurs from across the nation. Even more so, I am so thankful to be able to use the donation given to expand upon EEqual’s programs and help make a larger impact for students in need.
Matine Khalighi

Helping the Homeless Colorado and EEqual

As a 2020 recipient of the Barron Prize, I was recently given the amazing opportunity of gifting $10,000 to Higher Ground Youth and Family Services, a local nonprofit servicing at-risk youth, where I have served for over six years. This money will help to promote and expand my early reading intervention program, Read a Story, Change a Life. It will also provide invaluable funding to help support the newly built onsite Higher Ground S.T.E.M. Lab and Family Wellness Center.

Now, more than ever, as we collectively experience the Covid-19 pandemic, the inequities of equal learning potentials in the public-school system have been illuminated. The Barron Prize funding will help to fulfill my purpose of bridging those inequities to foster newfound potential and possibilities in young, deserving students to dream beyond their circumstances. For more information on how you can get involved, visit or my twitter: @gsgogold.

Isabella Paoletti-Tejeda

Read a Story, Change a Life

I am so honored to receive such an amazing award! I was excited that I was doing a remote day of school when the prize package arrived.

The best part about being a recipient of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is being able to show that you don’t have to be an adult to make a difference. You can be a kid, too! And I’m excited to spread the word about being kind.

I am also really excited about being a part of this family and getting to connect with so many amazing people!

Sammie Vance

Sammie’s Buddy Bench Project