Florida Youth Honored by National Award for Heroic Service Activity

Zoe Terry, age 16, of North Miami, Florida, has been named an honoree of the 2023 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring young leaders – fifteen top winners and ten honorees – who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. This year’s Barron Prize honorees are an outstanding group of young heroes chosen from nearly 500 applicants across the U.S. and Canada.

Zoe founded Zoe’s Dolls in 2011 to support girl empowerment and combat bullying through programs that promote self-expression, a healthy lifestyle, and volunteerism. Her nonprofit has donated more than 50,000 black and brown dolls to girls of color across the U.S. and in Africa, India, Cuba, the Netherlands, Trinidad, Jamaica, and Haiti. She has expanded her work to include school-based Zoe’s Dolls clubs, which give students opportunities to serve disenfranchised communities of color. As the head of her school’s club, last year she led 100 student volunteers in raising $20,000 to create gardens and renovate buildings at four underserved schools in Miami. Zoe began her work in kindergarten when she was bullied because of her skin color and hair texture. Determined to turn a painful experience into something positive, she began distributing dolls to empower girls of color like herself. Her other initiatives include the Loving the Skin I’m In Creative Expression Contest and an annual Black History month exhibit at her school featuring student artwork from across the community. “I know that I’ve made a difference for thousands of girls through something as small as a doll that reflects their image,” says Zoe. “I have found strength and courage through Zoe’s Dolls. I have found my purpose.”

The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T. A. Barron and named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Since then, the Prize has honored more than 500 young people who reflect the great diversity of America. All of them demonstrate heroic qualities like courage, compassion, and perseverance as they work to help their communities or protect the planet.   

 “Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says T. A. 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 Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”

For more information, visit www.barronprize.org

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