Boulder, CO, September 25, 2017 – Joshua Williams, age 16, of Miami Beach, Florida, has been named a national winner of the 2017 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people from across North America who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. Up to 20 top winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service work or higher education.
Joshua founded Joshua’s Heart Foundation, a non-profit that has distributed more than 1.5 million pounds of food to over 350,000 individuals in South Florida, Jamaica, Africa, India, and the Philippines. He has raised over $550,000 and forged partnerships with businesses including Walmart, Unilever, and TJ Maxx. In addition, he has rallied more than 12,500 youth and 3,500 adult volunteers to join his cause, and has created a Junior Advisory Board to help guide his organization and execute his programs.
Joshua began his work to “stomp out hunger” at age 5, when he gave a homeless man the $20 his grandmother had given him as a gift. More than a decade later, he has built an organization that not only provides hunger relief but also addresses literacy and nutrition. His Backpack Program makes sure that children head home from school for the weekend with a backpack full of food. He is also teaming with Whole Foods to offer cooking demonstrations on how to prepare easy, nutritious meals. “I tell young people that they can do something about the world’s problems NOW,” says Joshua. “You don’t have to wait until you are older to make a difference.”
The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T.A. Barron and was named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Each year’s 25 Barron Prize young heroes reflect the great diversity of America. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from various backgrounds. Many of them have focused on helping their communities and fellow beings; many others have focused on protecting the environment.
“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.”
For more information, please visit www.barronprize.org
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