Award-winning television host, Trevor Noah couldn’t have said it any better – “if this is the future, we’re in pretty good hands.” After an extensive, nationwide search and thousands of submissions, Nickelodeon, TIME, and TIME For Kids are excited to introduce everyone to this year’s honorees for the Kid of the Year TV special. From helping to conserve rivers, to admirable work to end racism towards the AAPI community, each of the Kid of the Year honorees are a true force to be reckoned with and they are making such a great impact in their communities, and in the world as a whole. The incredible Trevor Noah will be back to host the second annual Kid of the Year TV special, which will simulcast across Nickelodeon, TeenNick, and Nicktoons on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
The magnificent special will highlight the awe-inspiring work of the five honorees, with one kid ultimately being recognized as the TIME Kid of the Year, and will be featured on the cover of TIME and in additional coverage in TIME For Kids.
Many fan-favorite celebrities will be joining in on the fun to celebrate the phenomenal strides these kids are making to make this world a better place to live in. It has been announced that Jabari Banks, Charli D’Amelio, Dude Perfect, Rob Gronkowski, Scarlett Johansson, Zach King, Let It Happen, Charles Melton, 2020 Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao, Meghan Trainor, and more will make special appearances throughout the TV event to surprise the wonderful honorees.
Let’s learn more about this year’s five Kid of the Year honorees and the exceptional efforts they have and continue to make.
(source: press release)
- Cash Daniels (12; Chattanooga, Tenn.), an environmental activist working to conserve the rivers in his community, spending every day cleaning up cans and bottles near them. He has collected over 1,000 aluminum cans each week in 2021 alone and works to spread awareness about the interconnectedness of streams, rivers and oceans, and the threat that microplastics have on the environment. He is often joined by up to 25 kids for his regular clean-ups and runs a recycling program to collect cans from businesses. He also wrote a children’s book called “One Small Piece” about river pollution, which he reads to kids at the schools near him.
- Mina Fedor (13; Oakland, Calif.), an activist working to end racism towards the AAPI community. At the age of 12, she organized a rally to help spread awareness about AAPI hate, which saw over 1,200 members of her community show up to support her and learn more about the issues that she, along with many others in the AAPI community, face in America. She also co-founded the middle school activist group AAPI Youth Rising (AYR), which is working to get legislation passed in California that would make the teaching of ethnic studies mandatory in public high schools.
- Samirah Horton (11; Brooklyn, N.Y.), an anti-bullying advocate who uses music to spread awareness about the lasting effects of cruelty by others. Also known as DJ Annie Red, she has been rapping and DJing since the age of 6, using music as a way to share her message. Due to her deep and raspy voice, she has often been the target of bullies, leading her to write the song “No, You Won’t Bully Me” and book “The Bully Stop.” She travels across the country to give presentations to kids to bring awareness of the effects that words can have, and also to let kids who are bullied know that they are not alone.
- Orion Jean (11; Mansfield, Texas), an activist who believes that spreading kindness is his life’s mission. He founded his cause, “Race to Kindness,” after winning a student kindness contest in 2020. Since then he has organized many successful “Race to Kindness” events that have included collecting over 500,000 books for kids who need them, collecting over 100,000 meals for families in need in the Texas area, and more. He also wrote his first book titled “A Kids Book About Leadership,” which aims to inspire other kids to start their own kindness campaigns.
- Lino Marrero (14; Frisco, Texas), an innovator and award-winning inventor who has combined his love of sports with the desire to create practical, cool and eco-friendly devices. He recently invented the Kinetic Kickz 2.0, a shoe insert that can charge devices using energy that is generated from inside the sole of a shoe, charging as the wearer walks through the use of kinetic energy. The device has won at both regional and national competitions, and he hopes to continue inventing devices that can take advantage of this clean energy source.
Each of the honorees will receive a cash prize and the terrific opportunity to serve as a kid reporter for TIME for Kids at a Nickelodeon event.
According to the press release, “The Kid of the Year finalists and honorees were selected by an Advisory Board made up of representatives from Nickelodeon, TIME, Special Olympics, Rosie’s Theater Kids and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA to help narrow down the top 20 finalists.” Then, Nickelodeon stars Alaya “That Girl Lay Lay” High from the network’s hit series, That Girl Lay Lay, A Loud House Christmas star Wolfgang Schaeffer, and Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan star Dylan “Young Dylan” Gilmer helped select the outstanding, five kids who will be honored at the event.
The top 20 finalists from this year’s event include Lujain Alqattawi (13; Millersville, Md.), Ruby Kate Chitsey (13; Harrison, Ark.), Miles Fetherston-Resch (9; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Gaurangi Gupta (11; Redmond, Wash.), Ethan Hill (11; Birmingham, Ala.), Khloe Joiner (9; Missouri City, Texas), Sadie Keller (14; Lantana, Texas), Zoe Oli (9; Atlanta), Jayden Perez (12; Woodland Park, N.J.), Genshu Price (13; Hauula, Hawaii), Kai Shappley (11; Austin, Texas), Jenell Theobald (15; Beaverton, Ore.), Sammie Vance (13; Fort Wayne, Ind.), and Alena Wicker (12; Cedar Hill, Texas).
The Kid of the Year TV special is such a brilliant, multi-platform event that puts the spotlight on remarkable kids who are going above and beyond for their communities. Kids and families will enjoy watching this special and will be inspired to take action and make a difference.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) and get ready to see some of your favorite stars honor some truly influential kids at the second annual Kid of the Year TV special. To learn more, visit NickKidoftheYear.com.
Prepare to get inspired! Get your first look at the Kid of the Year special below.