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The Power of Leading By Example

-- Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes Announces 2023 Winners --

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award that recognizes inspiring, public-spirited young people, announces its 2023 winners. 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 difference to other people and the environment. Every year, fifteen top winners are each awarded $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.

T. A. Barron writes about fictional young heroes in his bestselling books and founded the nonprofit Barron Prize to champion real-life youth and inspire others. He named the award after his mother, Gloria Barron, who believed that every person –- no matter their age or circumstance -- has the power to make the world a better place. 

"My mother continually urged my siblings and me to make a positive difference to the world in whatever ways we chose," says T.A. Barron. "I learned from her early on that the best way to encourage others to act is to lead by example, and that's exactly what our young heroes are doing."

This year's Barron Prize winners include those who are helping the homeless and the disabled; promoting arts and literacy; protecting the ecosystem; feeding those in need; inventing devices to benefit world health; and advocating for important environmental issues. Here are the 2023 winners and their impressive accomplishments:

Alexander Knoll, age 18 of Idaho, created the Ability App, a crowdsourced web app that serves people with disabilities by providing a road map of accessible public spaces and businesses.

Armando Parrish, age 18 of Texas, founded Project Lorenzo, a nonprofit that works to end homelessness by providing technology certification courses and job assistance to homeless individuals living in shelters.

Atreya Manaswi, age 17 of Florida, invented a highly effective, eco-friendly, and inexpensive way to protect honeybee hives from virulent pests.

Grace Sun, age 17 of California, established Melodies for Remedies, a nonprofit that uses the performing arts to bring healing and joy to senior citizens, including those with Alzheimer's.

Jonah Larson, age 15 of Wisconsin, founded Jonah's Hands to use his passion for crocheting to raise $75,000 for school improvements in the Ethiopian village where he was born.

Mateo Lange, age 14 of Michigan, formed a community recycling program in his small town that has raised $200,000 for more than 50 local youth organizations.

Matias Habib, age 18 of Illinois, developed an eco-friendly pesticide to combat the Japanese Beetle, an invasive species that devastates U.S. agriculture each year.

Nathan Elias, age 17 of Texas, invented InvasiveAI, an app for farmers that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify invasive species and predict their spread.

Rafi Ahmad, age 17 of Illinois, founded Operation Viridis, a nonprofit climate justice initiative that addresses environmental racism in his hometown of Chicago. He advocates for increased tree cover in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

Rahul Vijayan, age 16 of Texas, created Farm to Tray to provide schools with hydroponic gardening systems that allow students to grow fresh produce for their school lunch programs.

Rania Zuri, age 18 of West Virginia, formed the LiTEArary Society to end book deserts and support early childhood literacy for disadvantaged children ages 3 to 5. 

Rishab Jain, age 18 of Oregon, developed a new biomedical tool called ICOR which aims to enable the rapid production of vaccines and address the rising cost of pharmaceuticals.

Rory Hu, age 13 of California, conducted yearlong research that yielded a viable way to prevent Colony Collapse Disorder, a problem plaguing beekeepers and threatening the ecosystem.

Shrusti Amula, age 17 of Maryland, started the Rise N Shine Foundation to reduce food waste in her community in order to feed those in need and combat climate change.

Te'Lario Watkins, age 15 of Ohio, created The Garden Club Project to help end hunger in his community and to encourage kids to eat healthier. He has donated more than 300 pounds of produce to food-insecure families and has helped create a garden at a local school.

"These outstanding young people saw a need, persevered, and came up with creative solutions to help other people and protect the planet," says T. A. Barron. "By honoring and supporting these young heroes and their amazing efforts, we hope to inspire even more youth to pursue their big dreams." 

For more information visit 

About the Barron Prize
Established in 2001 by author T. A. Barron, the Barron Prize is a national award that annually honors 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. These young people are as diverse as their service projects. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from a wide variety of backgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. All of them demonstrate heroic character qualities like courage and compassion. Through the years, the Barron Prize has earned the support of Girl Scouts of the USA, The Wilderness Society, Youth Service America, and Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, among other organizations. To learn more about the Barron Prize, visit

About T. A. Barron
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." His highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling books include The Lost Years of Merlin (now being developed into a film), The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times bestseller), The Ancient One, and The Hero's Trail, which profiles heroic young people from diverse backgrounds and inspires young people to think of how they can make a positive difference in the world. He loves to write and hike in Colorado. For more information visit

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