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Thankful Thoughts from Our 2021 Young Heroes

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Character Qualities, Gratitude, Volunteerism

In celebration of this Thanksgiving season, we asked our newest Barron Prize young heroes what they’re feeling thankful for these days. They replied with long lists that include family and friends, supportive teachers, and walks in the woods. Their thankful thoughts inspire us and make us smile. We hope they do the same for you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

“I am thankful for:

– Skip the Plastic Straw campaign
– guitar
– family
– music
– animals
– the ocean
– food
– friends
– water polo
– my sister”

Chloe Mei Espinosa, Age 15
Skip the Plastic Straw

Faraz Tamboli
“I am feeling thankful for the endless love that my family gives me. I feel grateful to have such dedicated teachers who work tirelessly through hurdle after hurdle, adjusting to new times. And lastly, I am thankful for the Hawaii community’s endless support and words of encouragement for all the literacy work I am doing. Their support motivates me to double down on our efforts in pursuit of a more literate Hawaii.”

Sascha Pakravan, Age 16

Adarsh Ambati
“I would like to thank the Barron Prize for their generous commitment to support youth affecting positive change in their communities. This award has impelled me to increase my climate educational work with Gro-STEMs and my green innovations like my Smart Community Sprinkler System and Amphibian Biodiversity Protection Project.

I am also so incredibly grateful for the thousands of youth standing up for the preservation of our planet at COP26 right now. It gives me immense hope to see this incredible, powerful force of youth.”

Adarsh Ambati, Age 16
The Green Environment Initiatives

Sarah Goody
“I am immensely thankful for my family and mentors for their endless support, and for the Barron Prize for highlighting endeavors that make the world a better place.

I am thankful for Carnegie Mellon University and their inspiringly innovative approach to interdisciplinary efforts!

Now that I live in Pittsburgh, a city rich with history and adjacent to open green spaces, I am thankful for meandering walks in the woods, peering through lush foliage and marveling at the beauty of the ecosystem.

I am thankful for everyone at The Watershed Institute, a place to learn the wonders of our environment. The Watershed nurtured in me a belief that access to clean water, and access to green spaces, are a fundamental right for everyone.”

Sonja Michaluk, Age 17
Created a Novel Bioassessment Method

“I’m thankful that:

1. We just wrapped up Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was awesome to hear stories from survivors about how they took back the joy that breast cancer has stolen from them.
2. We still don’t have snow in South Dakota, so I get to keep walking my dog and going for runs outside!
3. I got to drop off coffee cup Cozys at a new local boutique today. The people who own it are delightful.”

Jordan Phillips, Age 17
Cozys for the Cure

“Some of the things I am feeling thankful for these days are:
– cooler weather here in Florida
– I started at a new school this year and I have made some good friends already
– my family and our pets
– being able to get my Covid vaccine!”

Miles Fetherston-Resch, Age 9
Kids Saving Oceans

“I am thankful to be able to continue my work even during the pandemic. I am also incredibly thankful to my parents and my loved ones for their unending love and support.”

Shreyas Kar, Age 16
Community AI

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak up about my passions and for the resiliency to fight back. I’m grateful to my peers who support me along the way and show me that giving up is not an option when it comes to saving the planet, or just getting through another day.”

Sarah Goody, Age 16
Climate NOW

“I am thankful for the opportunity to use my privilege to make life easier for girls and women suffering from period poverty. The girls and women we serve can focus on school or work, instead of worrying about missing activities because they do not have the appropriate menstrual and hygiene products to stay clean and healthy all month long.”

Bree Bennett, Age 14
Women In Training, Inc.

Sonja Michaluk
“I am thankful for inquisitive and curious minds. If there was no desire to know more, we wouldn’t have any inventions and advancements in science and technology.

I’m thankful for those people who are working to preserve nature as enough wrong has been done to destroy and disturb the equilibrium that had once prevailed.

I’m thankful for every step of encouragement my family has been giving me throughout my life.”

Faraz Tamboli, Age 14

Jordan Phillips
“I’ve been journaling each morning and night as a way to reflect on the areas of my life that I am thankful for. My list includes having a roof above my head, being able to pursue higher-level education as a woman in STEM, having a supportive family, leading a nonprofit, and going on walks in the park with my family — and the list goes on!”

Vivian Wang, Age 18
Linens n’ Love

Brooke & Bree Bennett
“I am thankful for my mother. She spends her day organizing volunteers to help End Poverty. PERIOD! I’m sure she would rather have a real job, but she sacrifices her career to help with our public service efforts. That is really kind.”

Brooke Bennett, Age 14
Women In Training