Boulder, CO, September 15, 2011 – The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, an award that celebrates inspiring young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet, announces its 2011 national winners. The winners represent great diversity from all across the country, and will each receive $2,500 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project. The 2011 winners are:
Rujul Zaparde, age 16, of Plainsboro, New Jersey, who founded Drinking Water for India, a non-profit group that has built 47 wells in rural India, bringing clean water to over 80,000 villagers.
Blakely Colvin, age 17, of Solvang, California, who started Cupcakes for Cancer, an organization that has raised $80,000 to help kids with cancer by baking and selling $1.00 cupcakes.
Olivia Bouler, age 11, of Islip, New York, who has created and donated 500 original drawings of birds and thousands of limited edition prints, raising more than $200,000 for the Audubon Society and other groups working on the BP oil spill recovery efforts.
Jonny Cohen, age 15, of Highland Park, Illinois, who invented GreenShields, a polycarbonate shield that attaches to the front of school buses, making them more aerodynamic and nearly 30% more fuel efficient.
Christina Antonini, age 18, of Edgewater, Maryland, who led a team of Girl Scouts in designing, fundraising for, and building the $275,000 Butterfly Boutique resale store and job training center at the Chrysalis House drug and alcohol treatment facility for women.
Will Lourcey, age 8, of Fort Worth, Texas, who organized a group of 8-year-old boys who are raising awareness and money for the hungry in their community. So far, they have raised over $12,000 for the local food bank and have collected over 2,000 cans of food.
Manasvi Koul, age 18, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, who founded the LIVEbeyond Foundation to educate and recruit bone marrow donors, following her own desperate search for a bone marrow match. So far, she has registered more than 500 people.
Eric and Christina Bear, ages 11 and 13, of Golden, Colorado, who created the “Radon Awareness Project (RAP) – Detect to Protect” to educate the public about the dangers of radon and the importance of testing for it.
Jeffrey Hanson, age 17, of Overland Park, Kansas, whose original artwork has generated over $355,000 for dozens of charities around the world. Jeffrey is a visually impaired artist born with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis.
Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, ages 15 and 16, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who are working to save the endangered orangutan, whose habitat is being destroyed by the production of palm oil. The girls have focused their efforts largely on lobbying Girl Scouts to remove palm oil from Girl Scout cookies.
Kendall Ciesemier, age 18, of Wheaton, Illinois, who founded Kids Caring 4 Kids, a non-profit that has inspired nearly 7,000 kids in the U.S. to raise close to $900,000 for children in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Barron Prize was founded by author T.A. Barron and named for his mother, Gloria Barron.