High-Achieving Kids: Addy Barrett

Addy Barrett
Addy Barrett | Photo: Provided


Helping Endangered Gorillas


When Addy Barrett was in first grade, she learned from a book that less than 1,000 gorillas exist in the world. Addy took it upon herself to do something about it. Ever since, the 13-year-old from Germantown, Maryland, has been raising awareness for endangered gorillas, hosting fundraisers and engaging kids in environmental issues through her organization Gorilla Heroes.

“Kids are the future, and they’re going to need to fix a lot of the damage that has already been done to the planet,” Addy says. “The earlier that they can start educating themselves and know what’s going on the world, the better it will be in the future.”

Some of the initiatives Addy has spearheaded with Gorilla Heroes include a fun and educational fundraising annual event called the Gorilla Gala and a donation drive for old T-shirts which she makes into toys for gorillas. Addy recently donated some of her handmade toys to the gorillas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

“I try to make our fundraisers fun to get kids involved and have them feel like they can make a difference while also helping gorillas,” Addy says.

Addy’s mom, Sarah Barrett, who has provided support to Gorilla Heroes, has seen through her daughter’s work how important it is for young people to commit themselves to causes that they believe in.

“Kids are discovering they can’t wait until they’re adults to take action. They’re really needing to step up now,” Sarah says. “There is no reason to wait. You can make a difference and educate the people around you and beyond.”


Advice to Other Kids


Addy committed herself to something she cares about at a young age. Washington FAMILY asked her for her advice for other kids who might want to do the same:

“If kids realize that they really can do things, they’ll be able to take off and do whatever they want. If you find

Addy Barrett
Addy Barrett | Photo: Provided

something that you’re really passionate about, I think you should try to move forward with that. Don’t let an opportunity slip away just because you think you’re too young.”


Advice to Other Parents

While Addy has an incredible amount of individual initiative, her success has also been supported by her parents.

If your child expresses a desire to make a difference, Addy’s mom Sarah says, “You can’t be too quick to dismiss the concerns and issues that your kids bring to you about the world because they have a reason to be bringing those things (to you). Let them really take the lead. There are things that Addy has wanted to do along the way that I never would have thought of because we come at things from a different perspective when we’re adults.”


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