The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
Since its inception, the Barron Prize has awarded more than half a million dollars to hundreds of young leaders. Maybe your grandchild would qualify.
Boulder, CO — The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes announces that it is doubling the award amount, from $5,000 to $10,000 per winner. Established in 2001 by author T.A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, or the environment. The top winners each receive a monetary award to support their service work or higher education.
A lifetime champion of youth, T.A. Barron believes that “no one is too young to do something helpful. Every one of us can make a difference.”
Applications for the Barron Prize are accepted online only and are due by April 15, 2018. The winners will be announced in September. For more details and to apply, please visit www.barronprize.org
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates social entrepreneurship spearheaded by young people from diverse backgrounds across North America. Since its inception, the Barron Prize has recognized 417 young leaders and has won the support of the National Geographic Education Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, and National Youth Leadership Council, among other organizations.
T. A. Barron writes about his inspiration for the Barron Prize
Gloria Barron, the woman I was lucky enough to know as my mother, never sought fame. She simply lived the life of a teacher who cared deeply about her children and her community. She was always learning: The day before she died, at age ninety-two, she was delighted to discover a new word origin! (The word, by the way, was “spittoon”.) This great old gal never lost her childlike sense of wonder.
My mother believed in the importance of good communication. She encouraged us to write in journals, stories, and letters. Her rule was that a good letter should contain “something funny, something beautiful, and something true.” Beyond that, she continually urged her children to make a positive difference to the world, in whatever ways we chose. She didn’t sermonize; she just lived her own life that way—and hoped that we would, as well.
Her love of children and nature combined to create a remarkable project. For over twenty years, she worked hard to create a unique nature museum at the Colorado School for the Blind—a museum where everything can be touched. Blind kids can experience the grandeur of an eagle by touching its wide wings, just as they can feel a hummingbird’s delicate nest or a polar bear’s rich, soft fur. She never sought any credit for this accomplishment, and the only reward she wanted was the satisfaction of knowing that these kids could now experience some of the wonder and beauty of the natural world. That’s the sort of quiet heroism that countless teachers, parents, and kids show every day. And those people truly hold our world together.
That’s why, when the time came to choose a name for my prize celebrating young heroes, I knew exactly who to name it for—a quiet hero who made a real difference in my life. Someone who never stopped believing in the power of every person to make the world a better place. Someone I loved and admired very much.
T. A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the winner of the de Grummond Medallion for “lifetime contribution to the field of children’s and young adult literature”, the Nautilus Award Grand Prize, and many other awards. T. A. Barron is the author of more than 30 highly acclaimed books, many of which are international bestsellers. They include the Merlin Saga (now being developed into a feature film by Disney), The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times bestselling series), The Ancient One (the tale of a brave girl and a magical tree), and The Hero’s Trail (nonfiction stories of courageous kids). Though he’d dreamed as a young man of becoming a writer, he couldn’t find anyone to publish his first novel. He joined a successful business, eventually became president, then decided to try again. So in 1990, he surprised his business partners by moving back to Colorado to become a writer and conservationist. In 2000, he founded a national award to honor outstanding young people who help their communities or the environment: the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, which honors 25 highly diverse, public-spirited kids each year. He has also produced a documentary film, Dream Big, profiling seven winners of the Barron Prize. When not writing or speaking, T. A. Barron serves on many boards including Princeton University, where he helped to create the Princeton Environmental Institute, and The Wilderness Society, which recently honored him with its highest award for conservation work. He loves to go hiking, camping, and skiing in Colorado with his family.