National Award Inspires America's Youth To Make A Difference |

National Award Inspires America’s Youth To Make A Difference

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes Names 2014 Winners

PR Newswire

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 15, 2014

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Every person, no matter how young, can contribute to making the world a better place. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes announces its 2014 winners, who are inspiring examples of public-spirited kids and teens taking action. Each year, the Barron Prize honors twenty-five outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 from all across America who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. The top fifteen winners each receive $5,000 to support their service work or higher education.

The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T.A. Barron and named for his mother, Gloria Barron, who instilled in her children the idea that one individual can make a difference in the lives of others. “Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says Barron. “And we need our heroes today more than ever — people whose character can inspire us all. That is the purpose of the Gloria Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”

The 2014 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes winners are:

Joshua Goldenberg, age 10, of California, who was born blind and has created a program to install Braille signage and audible scanners in six Whole Foods Markets across the country in order to help the blind grocery shop independently.

Casey Sokolovic, age 16, of North Carolina, who has worked for nine years as the founder of L.A.S.T. (Love A Sea Turtle), raising over $370,000 for sea turtle protection and educating thousands about the need to protect the planet.

Jonathan Ferrer, age 18, of New York, who advocates for environmental and climate justice in his low-income community of color and organizes the annual New York City Climate Justice Youth Summit, a gathering of 750 young people.

Anna Murphy, age 12, of Connecticut, who created Warming Families Makes Cents, rallying her school and community to raise $10,000 to help heat the homes of struggling families in her community.

Kiran Sridhar, age 16, of California, who created Waste No Food, a free web-based service that links food donors with charities that feed the hungry. He has redistributed food to serve 100,000 meals and has kept thousands of pounds of food out of landfills.

Michael Stolzenberg, age 14, of Florida, a quadruple amputee who lost his limbs following an infection at age 8 and who has raised over $225,000 in the past year to help victims who suffered limb loss in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Abby Goldberg, age 15, of Illinois, who gathered a record-breaking 175,000 signatures on to convince the governor of her state to veto a bill that would have prevented any town in Illinois from banning plastic bags.

Finn McFarland and Anna Ramsey, age 18, of Vermont, who built a community root cellar in their hometown and created a Grow Some, Feed Many gardening initiative in order to store and deliver fresh local produce to their town’s food bank year-round.

Claire Wineland, age 17, of California, who lives with Cystic Fibrosis and has raised over $150,000 for her Claire’s Place Foundation to provide emotional and financial support to other families whose children have the disease.

Jasmine Babers, age 18, of Illinois, who founded and publishes Love GIRLS Magazine, a free publication distributed to three thousand teenage girls each quarter that focuses on girls’ self-esteem and empowerment.

Rory and Maeve McCracken, ages 16 and 11, of Louisiana, who created Kids Love the Gulf in response to the BP oil spill. The siblings have raised $8,000 to help marine animals and have published an ABC book about the Gulf for children.

Carter Jenkins, age 16, of California, who founded Students for Safe Water and has raised nearly $70,000 to bring safe drinking water and basic sanitation to thousands of people in developing countries.

Winter Vinecki, age 15, of Oregon, who created Team Winter to use her gifts as a runner, triathlete, and skier to raise nearly $500,000 for prostate cancer research in honor of her dad, who lost his fight against the disease when Winter was nine years old.

Rachel Ley, age 17, of Wisconsin, who founded Literacy for Little Ones to support families in reading to their babies. She and a team of 700 youth have created and distributed 8,400 packages containing a new book to parents of newborns in seven hospitals.

Stefan Lyon, age 18, of California, who has raised more than $120,000 in ten years to build three schools in Kenya that educate nearly 1,000 children. He has fundraised by writing and selling four nonfiction books for children.

The winners of the Barron Prize award, both past and present, represent the great diversity of America. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from many races and backgrounds. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is in association with National Geographic Education Foundation; Girl Scouts of the USA; Earth Force; the Jane Goodall Institute; Youth Service America; and Student Conservation Association. For more information on the Barron Prize, visit

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Posted on: September 16, 2014
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