The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is a national award that acknowledges the contributions of people 18 and under to make a better world. The winners get some $ and also more publicity for their projects – they totally deserve it! This year, 11 prizes were given out and the projects that these teenagers, tweens, and younger kids have created are awe-inspiring. Some of the projects are environmental, some raise funds for different communities. I’ll stick to the environmental ones and if you wanna learn more about all of them, just check out the Barron Prize website.
Those Girl Scouts I told you about before, Rhiannon and Madi, won for the campaign they started to get Girl Scouts to stop using palm oil in their cookies. Speaking of which — around the time the Barron Prizes were announced, the GSUSA (the leadership of the Girl Scouts) promised to try to eliminate palm oil from all Girl Scout cookies by 2015. Can you believe it? They did it! GSUSA said they’re also going to do things in the meantime to make up for using of palm oil, like buying Green Palm certificates, which reward palm oil plantations that do things right (i.e. not destroying orangutan habitats, duh) so the suppliers will do things right and not ruin rainforests. Congrats you guys! Eye of the tiger, or, um, orangutan!
The other environmental projects that got the Barron Prize this year: Rujul from New Jersey (age 16) raises money to build wells in India so villagers can have clean fresh water. Jonny from Illinois (age 15) designed and developed a new kind of windshield for school buses that makes them more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient. Eric and Christina from Colorado (ages 11 and 13) developed an education project to teach people about the dangers of the harmful gas radon. Olivia from New York (age 11) drew bird pictures to raise money for the Audubon Society and other groups working on saving wildlife after the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
Pretty impressive, huh? And this is what they’re doing in their spare time after their homework is finished. It makes me wonder how people can watch TV at all. I mean, I know that’s preachy, but srsly… I really love FRINGE but at least I’m trying to do something with Earth Ambassadors. Even if one out of every 20 people were doing something amazing, the world would be so different.