BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every person, regardless of age, can help to make the world a better place. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes names this year's winners as it continues to celebrate inspiring, public-spirited young people from diverse backgrounds all across North America. 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, and the environment. The top fifteen winners each receive $5,000 to support their service work or higher education.
"Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world," says Barron. "The goal of the Barron Prize is to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their example will encourage others to take action."
The 2016 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes winners are:
Allison Boyer, age 18, of California, who founded Purses for Primates, a non-profit that has raised over $27,000 to protect orangutans and their shrinking habitat.
Anurudh Ganesan, age 16, of Maryland, who invented the VAXXWAGON, a wheel-powered cooling system that keeps vaccines viable during the final stages of transport to remote locations.
Delaney Reynolds, age 16, of Florida, who founded The Sink or Swim Project to educate people about global warming and sea level rise. She has made presentations to nearly 10,000 people and has authored three children's books about climate change.
Hannah Herbst, age 15, of Florida, who invented a device that converts the kinetic energy of ocean tides or any moving body of water into usable electricity. Her inexpensive BEACON device is designed to help people in developing countries.
Martin Welych-Flanagan, age 16, of New York, who created Save the Seals, a campaign to raise awareness about the plight of harp seal pups and the Arctic ecosystem as a whole. He has raised nearly $17,000 for his cause by selling seal-themed crafts.
Maya Burhanpurkar, age 17, of Ontario, Canada, who created 440PPM, a documentary film that tells the story of her expedition to the Arctic where she witnessed climate change firsthand.
Meghana Reddy, age 17, of California, who founded Limbs with Love, a non-profit that creates and provides 3D-printed prosthetic hands free-of-charge to children in need all over the world.
Pooja Nagpal, age 18, of California, who created For a Change, Defend, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating gender violence and empowering young girls and women. Trained in Taekwondo and street fighting, she has developed a self-defense curriculum and has used it to train over 800 women and girls in the slums and rural villages of India.
Rachel Ritchie, age 12, of Kentucky, who has worked tirelessly for more than two years to raise $85,000 of the $100,000 needed to build a handicapped accessible playground in her community to benefit children and wounded veterans.
Raghav Ganesh, age 14, of California, who invented SmartWalk, a 21st-century version of the white cane used by the visually impaired that includes electronic "eyes" to better help the blind navigate obstacles.
Riley Gantt, age 15, of California, who created Rainbow Pack, a non-profit that has gifted over 9,500 new backpacks filled with school supplies to Los Angeles elementary school students in need.
Ryan Stackpole, age 17, of Connecticut, who founded TechCorps: Geeks for Good to teach students in the developing world and in impoverished areas of the U.S. how to use off-the-shelf parts to build low-cost computers for their schools.
Samantha Petersen, age 19, of Connecticut, who founded SHIFT Scoliosis, a non-profit committed to eliminating the late diagnosis of scoliosis. She and her team have screened over 4,000 underserved children and have taught over 10,000 adults about the signs of the disease.
Story Warren, age 17, of Washington, who created Kids4Wolves to educate young people about wolves and to promote coexistence between wolf advocates and those who oppose wolf recovery.
Xerxes Libsch, age 17, of New York, who led a four-year project to mitigate water contamination caused by a farm's animal waste leaching into New York City's public reservoir system.
Since its inception, the Barron Prize has awarded more than half a million dollars to hundreds of 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. The Barron Prize welcomes applications from young people residing in the U.S. and Canada. The online application for 2017 opens January 2nd and the entry deadline is April 15th.For more information, please visit www.barronprize.org.
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SOURCE Barron Prize for Young Heroes