Gloria Barron Prize For Young Heroes

Young Heroes Project
April 15, 2024

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from across the U.S. and Canada. Established in 2001 by author T. A. Barron, the Barron Prize annually honours 25 outstanding young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. Fifteen top winners each receive $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.

Since its inception, the Barron Prize has awarded more than half a million dollars to hundreds of young heroes who represent the great diversity of America. The Prize has won the support of Girl Scouts of the USA, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, The Wilderness Society, and National Youth Leadership Council, among other organizations.

“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. Not celebrities, but heroes—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.”

How to Apply

  • Between the ages of 8 and 18 (not yet age 19).
  • Permanent residents of and currently residing in the U.S.A. or Canada.
  • Currently working on an inspiring service project or have done so within the past 12 months:
    • The service activity must have been initiated and motivated primarily by the winner himself or herself.
    • The service activity cannot have been done solely to complete an assignment for school or work.
  • Working as an individual to lead their service work. The Barron Prize does not accept applications from large groups of young people.
  • Completed Application Form.
  • Project Summary (250 word limit).
  • Project Essay (1,500 word limit).
  • Letter from the Lead Reference:
    •  A Lead Reference is simply an adult advocate who has solid knowledge of the young person’s heroic activities. Examples of Lead References include teachers, librarians, school counsellors, youth service officials, and religious leaders.
  • Two Additional Letters of Recommendation:
    • Members of the applicant’s family cannot act as a Lead Reference nor write the other two required letters of recommendation.
  • One colour photo of the applicant
  • Winners must have organized and led an extraordinary service activity which has clearly benefited other people or the planet we share.
  • Winners must have:
    • Demonstrated positive spirit, courage, intelligence, generosity, and high moral purpose.
    • Shown initiative, tenacity, and unselfishness in pursuit of their goals.
    • Accomplished something with inspirational value—something that could inspire others to make a difference.
    • Done more than survive a difficult personal challenge. Their heroism must have made an impact on the world beyond themselves.
  • Winners may or may not have received recognition for their heroic work. Fame itself shall not have been a motivating factor.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted online by the deadline of 5:00 PM MT on April 15 each year, when the system will automatically close
  • Applications via fax, email, U.S. mail, or any other carrier are not accepted.
  • All required application materials must be included at the time of submission. Incomplete applications will not be considered.