Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barron Prize Announces 2009 National Winners

"Boulder, CO, September 15, 2009 – The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, an award that honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet, announces its ten 2009 national winners.

The 2009 winners of the Barron Prize represent great diversity from all across the country. Winners each receive $2,500 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project. The 2009 winners are:

The 2009 winners are:
Otana, age 15, of California, whose in-depth research on the harmful pulmonary effects of ozone emitted from some air purifiers has led to a ban on the sale of these devices in the state of California.

Katie, age 11, of South Carolina, who has rallied hundreds of community members to assist her in creating several large-scale vegetable gardens in order to help feed the hungry.

Alexander, age 18, of New York, who founded “New York To New Orleans” (NY2NO), a non-profit group that has organized 15 trips for nearly 500 students from 35 different NYC high schools to do volunteer work in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

Becca, age 18, of Utah, who created “AstroTots Space Camp for Little Dippers,” a free science camp for disadvantaged girls that is now offered in cities across the U.S.

Adarsha and Apoorva, ages 16 and 14, of California, who co-founded “Project Jatropha” to promote the use of the Jatropha plant as an eco-friendly and economically sustainable source of biofuel in rural India.

Emily, age 17, of South Carolina, who founded the “Need to Read Book Club,” a non-profit organization that has raised over $17,000 in order to buy and distribute nearly 4,000 new children’s books.

Jonathan, age 18, of Pennsylvania, who created “Helping Hunger,” a student-driven organization that “rescues” food from caterers and restaurants and transports it to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

Sejal, age 17, of California, who founded “Girls Helping Girls,” a non-profit group that has trained over 5,000 girls in nearly twenty countries in tackling problems such as poverty, education, and health care in their communities.

Rachel, age 14, of Texas, who has written a book profiling non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Through sales of her book, she has raised $13,000 to help support elderly non-Jewish rescuers, most of whom are living in anonymity in Europe.

Sujay, age 15, of New York, who has invented a technique using genetically-modified bacteria to convert waste into ethanol at a fraction of its current cost. Sujay has also founded ReSight, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides sight-saving eye surgeries for disadvantaged children in Southern Asia.

The Barron Prize was founded by author T.A. Barron and named for his mother, Gloria Barron. "

We would like to thank T.A. Barron, the Barron Prize Founder, and Barbara Richmond, the Executive Director of the Barron Prize, for choosing us. We will be reinvesting the $2,500 back in to the expansion of Project Jatropha.

Adarsha and Apoorva


  1. Dear Adarsha and Apoorva!
    Congratulations! The more I see the environmental work you guys have done, the more I like it. I think by far I am the biggest fan of Project Jatropha. I can bet Apoorva will win the DoSomething Award 2010! I also saw that Cogito has announced the Brower award winners for 2009! Congratulations again. I know you are busy but when you have time, please address the fungal diseases issue on the blog.

  2. Conglaturations!
    Not only for the prize, but for the initiative. I really did not know your ages. Very impressive that (practically)childs lead one of the best jatropha blogs.
    Like Lilian i wait for more about diseases, and pest (and irrigation, and prunes, and...).

    INES BAZAN / Tecomán, Colima. MEXICO

  3. Hi Apoorva, Adarsha & Callie,

    Congrats on winning the Barron Prize. I've been following your blog and I am blown away by what you've been doing.

    ~Divya Sangam
    Jatropha World

  4. Dear Ms. Sangam, Mr. Baxan, and Lilian,

    Thank you very much for your kind words!! Adarsha will soon make a blog post about the effects of fungal disease on the Jatropha cultivation. We have posted quite a few blogs about importance of pruning and irrigation with pictures. Mr. Bazan, can you please go over them? If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask! We appreciate your interest in our blog


  5. Hi adarsha,
    This is Paul from Jatropha cultivation in Africa. If you remember I had contacted you six months ago for information about pruning of Jatropha. i have been following your blog since then. at first I had no clue that you three were teenagers. Unless you put your picture who can believe that teenager want to talk about Global warming and poverty. I am very happy that you and Apoorva won the Barron Prize 2009. are you serious when you say we reinvest the prize money into project expansion? Good luck to you guys. keep the articles coming.
    Paul Richardo

  6. Dear project Jatropha Team,
    At around 7:40 in the morning today, I was listening to NPR news and there was an interesting issue about Jatropha curcus. As I have fuel business, I follow all the web sites. blogs pertaining to fuels. I used follow your blog privately and must say i have read most of the science related posts.
    now, I am not sure if you heard the NPR news today. It brought an important issue about Jatropha curcus and its value. Is it really what it is advertised to be? This was based on the experiences in Kenya. In that place, there is no rain for almost three years and no other crop can grow. The agancy from Nairobi, no name mentioned, has given Jatropha seedlings to around 270 farmers in a village. They were told that it grows in waste land, no irrigation required, no need to tend to and all that issues that Jatropha is famous for.
    After two years or so, There are two sets of results here. One set, where it has grown very well with fruits all over the shrub. But, interestingly this group did not follow the advice that no irrigation or tending necessary just plant leave them alone they will grow and give you wealth. However, there is another group, that did follow the advice of the seed distributor and They just neglected the entire plantation. In that group, the shrubs are still there but standing like twig, hardly any leaves and absolutely no fruit.

    This was the gist of today's news. I am originally from Kenya. This got me to think. Is the noise about Jatropha being a drought resistant shrub a myth.

    Adarsha, now how many seedlings have you distributed, around 10-12 thousand right? Is it almost an year now? What did you tell your farmers? What did they do and in Project Jatropha's opinion what kind of tending do you advocate?
    I think that may be, just may be, if the farmers know the importance of tending and to what extent and the time frame, they might really benefit. if they are educated in terms of the necessities for proper techniques of growing Jatropha, Jatropha might be a good cash earning crop after all.

    My question to you is, do you have pictures or any evidence to prove that Jatropha can produce seeds with no water?

    I understand that Sirona is partnered with you. They have a plantation in Haiti right? What is their experience?


  7. Great Project, Great work! We are pioneers in Jatropha cultivation. It is very encouraging to see the youth of today are not afraid to take chances and be open to new possibilities. Good luck.

  8. Hi Adarsha,
    It was nice talking to you yesterday at Bioneers conference. Your project is truly unique. Though I am from South Bay, we can work something out to introduce the school fruit orchard project here as well. As you said, please talk to Apoorva and Callie and get back to me!

  9. Hey Adarsha,
    nice talking to you yesterday. Out of all the projects I saw and listened to, I think Project Jatropha is by far the most interesating approach. We look forward to your team working in West Oakland