Time’s Kid Of The Year 2020


For the first time ever, TIME has selected a Kid of the Year.

Out of thousands of American kids aged 8-16, the pool was narrowed down to five finalists and, ultimately, one winner. Let’s meet these amazing kids!

Image Credit: Sharif Hamza for TIME

Kid of the Year 2020: Gitanjali Rao, 15

Lone Tree, Colorado

Image Credit: Sharif Hamza for TIME

Addressing cyberbullying through an app that provides opportunities for growth rather than punishment. Detecting biocontaminants in water. Mentoring thousands of students. Changing the world. All of these things are business as usual for Gitanjali Rao, the first ever TIME Kid of the Year. In her interview with Academy Award–winning actor and special envoy of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, Gitanjali discussed her passion for creating a global community of young innovators using her mantra “observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate.” Gitanjali has accomplished an incredible amount, and hopes her story is inspiring to others: “If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it.”

Finalist Tyler Gordon, 14

San Jose, California

Image Credit: Andrew Toth—Nickelodeon

Tyler Gordon has faced a myriad of health issues, one of which causes him to speak with a stutter. Tyler was afraid to use his voice for years due to bullying, but found an artistic voice through painting that allows him to spark conversation and create awareness. He has painted over 500 portraits of Black icons, one of which sold for over $100,000, and teaches weekly art classes on his Instagram (@tygordonsworld) for his 50,000+ followers.

Finalist Jordan Reeves, 14

Columbia, Missouri

Image Credit: Andrew Toth—Nickelodeon

Jordan Reeves was born with a limb difference, her left arm stopped growing at the elbow, which has inspired her to apply her creativity and ingenuity into the world of accessible design. In addition to designing her own 3D prosthesis, Jordan has also consulted with various companies and co-written a memoir. She also co-founded with her mother Born Just Right, a nonprofit aimed at providing resources for kids with disabilities to imagine their own solutions.

Finalist Bellen Woodard, 10

Leesburg, Virginia

Image Credit: Britton Orrange—Nickelodeon

Bellen Woodard was asked for a “skin color” crayon, and as the only Black student in her grade she recognized an opportunity for inclusivity. Bellen created a collection of 12 crayons with a diverse range of skin colors, all named after things found in nature. She also started a charity, More Than Peach, which has provided her inclusive crayons and sketchbooks to kids across the country.

Finalist Ian McKenna, 16

Austin, Texas

Image Credit: Britton Orrange—Nickelodeon

Ian McKenna forged his own path when his age prevented him from doing meaningful work with local organizations. Instead of getting discouraged, Ian took his passion for addressing hunger and started working. He established a garden at his school with the intention of growing produce to donate to local food banks, and his project has provided over 20,000 lbs of produce. Once the pandemic hit, Ian began cooking meals from home and offering virtual classess on gardening and cooking.