Roslyn High School junior Alec Urbach was recognized recently for using the power of video to improve the health of children in needy areas of the world.
Urbach was one of 15 finalists nationwide for a Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes from children's book author T.A. Barron, based on Urbach's efforts creating the local nonprofit named Giving from the Ground Up.
The organization has worked to produce educational health care films for kids in countries including Ghana and El Salvador, and has sent hundreds of boxes of donated medical and dental supplies with the videos.
"I want to educate and empower the disenfranchised children of the world," Urbach, 15, said of his volunteer efforts. "I don't want to be complacent."
One of Urbach's videos features animated characters -- such as a talking toothbrush, Mrs. Bristles, and a floss container named The Flossinator -- that teach proper oral health care.
Urbach's other community-service efforts include fundraising to provide desks, textbooks and a new drinking well for a school in Lipke Bakwe, Ghana.
"The best way to show young people they can make a difference is by sharing examples of what others have done," Barron said of the award.