Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old scientist and inventor has been named Time magazine’s first ‘Kid of the Year’. Hailing from Denver, Colorada, she has invented new technologies including a device that can identify lead in drinking water and an app and Chrome extension that uses artificial intelligence to detect cyberbullying. Rao’s dream is to inspire others to “solve the world’s problems” – something she told Hollywood star and humanitarian Angelina Jolie in a recent interview. “I don’t look like your typical scientist. Everything I see on TV is that it’s an older, usually white, man as a scientist,” she said.
Rao added, “My goal has really shifted, not only from creating my own devices to solve the world’s problems, but inspiring others to do the same as well. Because, from personal experience, it’s not easy when you don’t see anyone else like you. So, I really want to put out that message: If I can do it, you can do it, and anyone can do it.” During their warm exchange, Jolie told Rao, “Well, I’m just so happy to get to know you a little bit. I’m sure I’ll be using your inventions in years to come and just being in awe of you as I watch you do more and more in your life, and I can say, ‘I met her once’.” She was chosen from 5,000 US-based nominees, eventually winning the title from five finalists in the last round. Rao and the other four will be honoured in a TV special next Friday. Twitter has been flooded with congratulatory messages for the young girl. Not only this but she has impressed people world over with her tremendous work.
Blown away by @TIME’s first-ever Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao! 👏
Only 15 years old & tackling issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction & cyber bullying.
Thank you Gitanjali for leading the way for the next generation.https://t.co/CsvRPDhMwS
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) December 4, 2020
— ARMAAN MALIK (@ArmaanMalik22) December 4, 2020
— Amit Kumar Bhardwaj (@AmitKumar280598) December 4, 2020
— Da_Lying_Lama🇮🇳 (@GoofyOlives) December 4, 2020
— Avanish Mishra (@avanishmishra) December 3, 2020
Congratulations🎉 to #gitanjalirao for @TIME the first-ever kid of the year "Your intelligence and new inventions will always help all the people to live a better life in future, your work inspires millions, and best wishes for a successful future.👍👍 @timesofindia https://t.co/iJqhNLUIlp pic.twitter.com/UdqneXSAto
— GIRIDHAR TIWARI 🇮🇳 (@tiwari_giridhar) December 3, 2020
Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra posted on the micro-blogging platform, “Blown away by
@TIME’s first-ever Kid of the Year, Gitanjali Rao! Only 15 years old and tackling issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyber bullying. Thank you Gitanjali for leading the way for the next generation.” Singer Armaan Malik wrote, “Indians on top everywhere. What a Time to be alive! Congrats Gitanjali, you make us all so proud.” Another Twitter user penned, “Heartiest congratulations to the Times Kid of the Year #GitanjaliRao. So great to see such a young mind rising and shining,” followed by, “Kudos little one! You have a long way to go.” Posting a heartfelt message, a user wrote, “Congratulations Gitanjali Rao! Your intelligence and new inventions will always help all the people to live a better life in future, your work inspires millions and best wishes for a successful future.”
— Bobby Ghosh (@ghoshworld) December 3, 2020
Congratulations to Gitanjali Rao for receiving the honor of @TIME’s first-ever #KidOfTheYear! The 15 year old scientist shares: “If I can do it, anybody can.” She encourages other girls to pursue careers in STEM, and reminds kids everywhere that #YouCanBeAnything. pic.twitter.com/iZ7zxzI1Vm
— Barbie (@Barbie) December 3, 2020
15 year old Indian-American scientist&inventor Gitanjali Rao has been named @TIME’s 1st-ever #KidOfTheYear for her work in technology to tackle issues ranging from cyber bullying to contaminated drinking water. “If I can do it,” she says,“you can do it. Anyone can do it.” pic.twitter.com/J6fvSLDe8t
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 4, 2020
So pleased to see you accomplishing great things.#GitanjaliRao
— I'mPRUTHVI (@MpruthviI) December 4, 2020
— Aditi Srimal (@AaditiSrimal) December 4, 2020
What a role model! When I was at school I never thought about science as an exciting way to solve social problems. Think @FutureFirstOrg alumni would have helped my imagination. #GitanjaliRao #YouCantBeWhatYouCantSee https://t.co/l3e7ELB0iK
— Amy Finch (@AmyHeatonFinch) December 4, 2020
In this year of hell, it is wonderful to see a promising future through young people like scientist and inventor, #GitanjaliRao, #Time magazine's first #KidOfTheYear". 😊 #FridayFeeling #FridayThoughts #fridaymorning #Science #STEMeducation #WomenOfScience https://t.co/DdKThUZRLw
— AMHolmes🌎 (@AMHolmes0428) December 4, 2020
Rao is adamant to use science to promote social change. “Here’s #GitanjaliRao, setting a whole new standard of achievement for desi parents everywhere to inflict on their kids,” wrote Bobby Ghosh, while attaching Rao’s picture. The official Twitter handle of Barbie posted, “Congratulations to Gitanjali Rao for receiving the honor of @TIME’s first-ever #KidOfTheYear! The 15-year-old scientist shares: “If I can do it, anybody can.” She encourages other girls to pursue careers in STEM, and reminds kids everywhere that #YouCanBeAnything.” Another user added, “So pleased to see you accomplishing great things.#GitanjaliRao.” User Amy Finch wrote, What a role model! When I was at school I never thought about science as an exciting way to solve social problems #GitanjaliRao#YouCantBeWhatYouCantSee.” For some, 2020 just got a whole lot better! “In this year of hell, it is wonderful to see a promising future through young people like scientist and inventor, #GitanjaliRao, #Time magazine’s first #KidOfTheYear,” read a tweet. We wish Rao more and more success in the future!