TIME’s ‘Kid of the Year,’ Coloradan, sits down with KKTV

Published: Dec. 6, 2020 at 11:53 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Earlier this week, Time Magazine announced its “People of the Year,” including naming its very first “Kid of the Year.”

Out of a pool of 5,000 kids and teens, the chosen one just so happens to live in Colorado.

To call Gitanjali Rao a prodigy would be a massive understatement. She’s a scientist, innovator, public speaker, humanitarian and more.

“It’s such an exciting experience and so beyond humbling just to know that people are interested in what our generation is doing to help tackle the world’s problems,” Rao said in a Zoom interview Sunday night.

It’s been a whirlwind week for a Lone Tree kid.

“For the past few days, I have been sharing my story with a lot of people around the globe,” Rao added.

She says as a scientist and innovator, she focuses on things she has a personal connection to or that she likes to learn more about. So far on her resume is developing a device to detect lead in water -- at just 12 years old. That, along with creating a device to detect opioid addiction early, in addition to preventing cyberbullying using artificial intelligence.

But that doesn’t mean she is slowing down anytime soon. The 15-year-old says she has a lot left to do -- and has already started more projects.

“I know I am not stopping here for sure. I think this is added motivation to continue my journey. I will continue innovating.”

Rao adds she hopes this will show others, especially young girls, that anything is possible.

“By being on the cover and by having the title of “Kid of the Year,” I am representing all of the young scientists, especially females, who want to become innovators, who want to do what they are passionate about, and I think that hopefully this shows them that they can do it too,” she said.

Some of the criteria that Time Magazine used to pick the “Kid of the Year” included exceptional leadership and positive impact they’ve had.

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