Way to go: Olivia Bouler, Islip

Olivia Bouler of Islip Middle School.

Olivia Bouler of Islip Middle School. Photo Credit: Handout

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Olivia Bouler is an artist, a bird-watcher and now a hero.

The seventh-grader at Islip Middle School is one of 11 winners nationwide to recently receive a Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes from children's book author T.A. Barron, based on her efforts helping to raise $200,000 for the National Audubon Society and other environmental groups since the BP oil spill last year in the Gulf of Mexico.

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To raise the funds, she created and donated 500 original drawings of birds and thousands of limited-edition prints, which were given to individuals who donated to wildlife recovery efforts.

"I've learned everyone can use their talents to make a difference in the world, whether it's with cancer or caterpillars," said Olivia, 12, who won $2,500 for her cause or her education. "I'm here to prove it."

Last year Olivia lobbied on Capitol Hill to support alternative energy legislation. She also has published a book, "Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf," a collection of watercolors and tips on being environmentally friendly. A portion of its proceeds benefits the Audubon Society.

"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.

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