Austinites Ian McKenna, Kate Williams, and Melissa Khasbagan have been named 2019 honorees by the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. This year’s honorees were chosen from nearly four hundred applicants across the U.S. and Canada.
Ian, age 14, created Ian’s Giving Garden to provide fresh food to people facing hunger in his community. Since starting his work as an 8-year-old, he has grown and donated more than 18,000 pounds of produce with the help of nearly 1,400 volunteers. Find out more at www.iansgivinggarden.weebly.com.
Kate, age 9, wrote a book titled Let’s Go On Safari! to tell her generation that advocacy has no age limit, and that kids can help save animals from extinction. Royalties from her book support the Jane Goodall Institute, The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and Global Wildlife Conservation – groups that gladly agreed to partner with Kate. Visit her site at www.kidscansaveanimals.com.
Melissa, age 17, founded 1000 Books For, a non-profit that provides educational and entrepreneurship materials to students and teachers in underdeveloped areas around the world. She has collected more than 15,000 books and distributed them in nine countries, including Mongolia, India, Liberia, and Nigeria. Learn more at www.1000booksfor.org.