Young Heroes

Young Heroes

We need heroes, today more than ever.

Why? Because our modern society is seriously confused about something important — the difference between a hero and a celebrity.


What does it mean to be a hero?

A celebrity is defined by fame. Celebrities gain their status through qualities that are easy to spot, but don’t usually make a lasting impact on the world.

A hero, by contrast, is defined by character. And character is about qualities that aren’t visible at all — qualities like courage, perseverance, generosity, compassion, and hope.

Part of the trouble is that people – especially young people – hear a whole lot more about celebrities than heroes. But we have the power to change this! How? By sharing the stories of heroes whether from the world of fiction or from real life.


There is a potential hero, a future difference maker, in every one of us.

This is why, more than a decade ago, I founded a national award to celebrate young people who are making a difference in our world. The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors 25 terrific young people every year. And it’s why I wrote (and recently updated) my book, The Hero’s Trail – to share stories of these young heroes with you and with young people for generations to come.

What is a Hero?

What makes a hero? It’s not about fame or celebrity… it’s about character. In this short video I talk about the qualities of the real heroes of our world. For more videos on heroes, including one featuring Jane Goodall, visit Resource Materials.

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