For 92 years, Time Magazine has finished the year off by presenting a “Person of the Year” on its front cover. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg graced the magazine’s front cover last year, becoming the youngest ever to do so at the age of 16. This year, Time wanted to recognize “the rising leaders of America’s youngest generation” by making an award for “Kid of the Year.”
The inaugural winner? Gitangjali Rao, a 15-year-old Colorado high school student who has already amassed an impressive list of personal achievements in her young life.
Rao’s life as an inventor started at the age of 12 when she created a portable device to detect lead in water. Later, she created a device called Epione that diagnoses prescription opioid addiction at an early stage. But that’s not all. She’s also created an app called Kindly that utilizes AI to help prevent cyberbullying. The app works by allowing teens to type in a word or phrase to find out if the words they’re using are considered bullying. It then lets them decide to edit what they’re sending or to proceed.
For a 15-year old, Rao comes across with incredible wisdom: she believes that the pursuit of science is an essential act of kindness and the best way for the younger generations to improve the world.
“We have science in everything we’re involved in, and I think that’s the biggest thing to put out there, that science is cool, innovating is cool, and anybody can be an innovator,” Rao said. “Anybody can do science.”