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The Barron Prize: $10,000 for Young People Doing Great Things


There's never been a better time to apply for The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes.

Why? Because we need to celebrate – and encourage – the good works of young people more than ever. And because the award money has doubled to $10,000 this year!

The prize was founded in 2001 by Colorado-based author T.A. Barron (he of the popular children's books The Great Tree of Avalon, The Lost Years of Merlin and others) and is named in honor of his mother. Every year, it honors twenty-five "outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment."

Since inception, the Barron Prize has awarded more than $500,000 to hundreds of youngsters. It has earned the backing of the National Geographic Education Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA and the National Youth Leadership Council.

Eligibility criteria are flexible. Applicants "must have organized and led an extraordinary service activity which has clearly benefited other people or the planet," according to the prize's website.

The application process, done entirely online, asks for a project description, an essay on inspirations and goals and three letters of recommendation. The deadline to apply is April 15.

The contest prides itself on selecting winners of diverse backgrounds from across the US and Canada. While awards go to young folks working in an admirable variety of fields, environmental projects have been prominent. Prior winners tackled issues such as treating contaminated water, making solar energy available to disfavored communities, recycling sports equipment, pressuring governments to legislate environmental rights and even safeguarding orangutans.

The honorees are a fantastic, inspired and inspiring bunch. And you may be able join them.

Find out how at:

--By Tracy Sanchez