How This 12-Year-Old New Hampshire Boy Won $10,000 for Protecting the Planet, Starting With Orangutans
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
It shouldn't be any surprise that 12-year-old Jack Dalton, dubbed the Kid Conservationist from Manchester, New Hampshire, won a 2022 Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. While most pre-teens are living the life of a typical kid, Jack is one of 15 kids around the country and Canada honored as a young leader because of his significant and positive impact in our world on people, their communities, and the environment. Each of the winners, including Jack, received $10,000 to support their service work or higher education.
Oh, and he's now a published author. Congratulations!
According to the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, Jack's passionate work and progress to protect critically endangered orangutans and their rainforest habitat is educating us about our environment. It's also super inspiring that anyone, at any age, can do anything to better the world we live in, and in this case, the animals that live in it.
Jack even has educational and entertaining videos on his YouTube channel, which are watched by fans in over 90 countries. He's truly becoming quite the conservationist as he showcases ways to care for the planet. That's how the Barron Prize took notice.
Jack has raised more than $12,000 for education, orangutan rehabilitation, and rainforest restoration by selling reusable bags made from recycled material and through sales of his children’s book titled Kawan the Orangutan, Lost in the Rainforest.
How is this not absolutely inspiring? And for every book someone buys, a tree is planted to help restore orangutan habitats, according to the Barron Prize.
Jack traveled to Indonesia in October 2022 to help with several conservation projects, including the planting of trees. Known as the Kid Conservationist, he serves as a Youth Ambassador for Orangutan Alliance, Orang Utan Republik, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
And how often do you hear the age of eight as the time someone started their "career" and project? That's Jack for you, who started learning about palm oil, deforestation, and how his actions were affecting animals when he was in 3rd grade. It stuck with him, and he vowed to create change.
Jack told the Barron Prize committee that he's learned that challenging causes take perseverance and action. He will continue to do so around the world while the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes continues to take notice.
Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world. 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.
Click here for more on Jack. And if you can, buy a book.