Colorado Proud: Lone Tree girl named first-ever Time’s Kid of the Year.

A 15-year-old Lone Tree girl has been named Time magazine’s first-ever Kid of the Year for 2020.

Gitanjali Rao, a young scientist and inventor, was selected from a field of more than 5,000 nominees to be named Time’s Kid of the Year.

“Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate.” That’s what Rao told actor and activist Angelina Jolie during a recent Zoom meeting, according to Time.

Gitanjali, in 2017, earned the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” while attending STEM School Highlands Ranch. At that time, Gitanjali won the award for inventing a device named Tethys, after the Greek goddess of fresh water, into the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She told The Denver Post she entered the contest, in part, looking for a solution to the Flint, Mich., water crisis.

“I was stunned,” Gitanjali told The Post in 2017. “All the other finalists are amazing. Their innovations were completely mind-blowing, so it was amazing to see that I was picked.”

In her Zoom interview with Jolie, Gitanjali spoke about using technology to solve problems ranging from unfit “drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying.”

“If I can do it,” she told Jolie, “anybody can do it.”

A broadcast special on the Kid of the Year will air on Nickelodeon on Dec. 4.

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