BLOGThe Latest Barron Prize News
THANKFUL THOUGHTS FROM OUR 2023 WINNERS
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our newest Barron Prize winners what they’re feeling thankful for these days. Many replied they’re grateful for the love and support of family. Others relayed they’re thankful for encouragement from their communities, including friends and teachers. Almost all expressed gratitude for the chance to use their passion to make a difference.
We’re deeply thankful for all our young heroes, the goodness they embody, and the meaningful work they’re doing. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Matias Habib, Age 18
The past year has been remarkable for me and I am incredibly grateful for all the amazing experiences it brought. I had the honor of serving as a Youth in Action representative for national 4-H. My work in biopesticides was successful and I am grateful to my customers and supporters. I am still stunned to be a recipient of the Barron Prize and so thankful for such encouragement, generosity, and support. This fall I started college and feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to advance my education and pursue my passion for a career in science. Still, none of this would be possible without the support and love of my family — especially my amazing mom, who is always there for me.
Jonah Larson, Age 15
Every day I hear from someone, somewhere, who shares a story of how crochet has had a positive effect on their life. I am grateful that my crochet has brought some joy and comfort to so many people around the world. This year I’m also grateful that I was able to take a trip to Brazil with my parents and learn how cotton yarn was made! It was amazing to see cotton turn into yarn which I can then turn into beautiful items with a small hook. I’m grateful for my rescue dogs, Charlie and Bella, who bring a lot of happiness to our family. I’m also grateful I was chosen as a Barron Prize winner. I am honored to be amongst such an admirable group of young leaders.
Alex Knoll, Age 18
During this Thanksgiving season, I want to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support and invaluable connections I’ve made during my time working on TheAbilityApp.com. The platform has brought together a diverse community of individuals with disabilities, advocates, and allies who empower one another. It’s through these interactions that I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the resilience and strength within our community. The friendships formed and knowledge shared have enriched my life in so many ways.
Rory Hu, Age 13
I am thankful for the people in my life who may not receive the recognition they deserve. The queen of a honeybee hive, markedly larger than the rest, tends to stand out from the crowd. Yet the worker bees, performing ceaselessly behind the scenes, are equally critical to the hive’s survival. We often neglect the background characters that allow our lifestyles to flourish. From teachers to firefighters, nurses to scientists, the underappreciated caretakers of our world are frequently overshadowed by those in the spotlight. I’m thankful for these unsung heroes who deserve just as much gratitude as anyone else.
Rishab Jain, Age 18
I am deeply grateful to be part of an inspiring community that nurtures my passion for research. As I embark on this new journey in college, I extend my gratitude to my esteemed professors and dedicated peers who challenge me to think beyond the conventional and make a tangible impact in the world through my work. I see so many opportunities to make a positive impact, and I’m excited to see where my research takes me over the next four years of school. I also can’t wait for the upcoming Thanksgiving break to wrap up a neuroscience review paper I’ve been working on!
Rania Zuri, Age 18
I am thankful for my family, friends, and to the countless people who have supported me over the years in my journey to end book deserts for disadvantaged preschool children. I am especially grateful to the Barron Prize for making my second West Virginia Head Start Road Tour a reality!”
Rafi Ahmad, Age 17
I’m currently thankful for:
- New partnerships with like-minded organizations that have allowed me to extend my Climate Justice work into the adjacent Food Justice space
- A longer fall season that allowed me to put together one more tree planting project before the onset of winter
- The support of family and friends in helping to spread the message about Operation Viridis
Armando Parrish, Age 18
First and foremost, I am infinitely grateful for Our Lord and the relationship I have developed with him throughout these past two years. Without the nourishment of the Holy Eucharist, I would never be able to help others in the capacity we do at Project Lorenzo. I am especially grateful for my family and friends who have helped me adjust to college life. Finally, I am incredibly grateful for my professors for working with me in and out of class!
Shrusti Amula, Age 17
Although 2023 was filled with ups and downs, I am filled with gratitude, especially for my family. They have been by my side, helping in whatever way possible. None of what I was able to accomplish this year could have been done without them. I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, as they have been instrumental in taking my organization to new heights and have thus significantly helped in the fight against climate change and food insecurity while inspiring youth leaders across the country.
Te’Lario Watkins, Age 15
I am thankful to my family and community for all their support. My family provides me with love and support through life challenges. My community has supported me and my efforts to make my community and world a better place. I will always be grateful for the support of my family and community.
Nathan Elias, Age 17
I’m thankful to my family and friends for providing me with encouragement and support throughout my project, but also throughout my entire educational journey! It’s often easy to take for granted the value of those near to you, but I’m especially grateful to be surrounded by a supporting and nourishing network of family, friends, educators, and mentors. As I continue my educational career, I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given to freely learn and explore my interests, and I look forward to continuing to grow and improve!