Who will become Kid of the Year for 2021? The answer will be revealed on February 9 during a TV special on Nickelodeon. In the weeks leading up to the show, we’ll be introducing the top five nominees. Read on!
Orion Jean has the same interests as other 11-year-olds. He listens to music and plays with friends. But one thing sets him apart. He leads campaigns . They’re focused on doing good deeds for others.
Orion started his first campaign in 2020. He had just won the National Kindness Speech Contest. In his speech, he said kindness is a virtue we can all possess. “So why not start today?” he said.
Orion practices what he preaches. He has since led many events with the goal of helping people in need.
Orion’s first good deed was to buy toys for patients at the Children’s Health hospital in Dallas, Texas. He used his $500 prize from the speech contest. Then he began his first Race to Kindness campaign, the Race to 500 Toys. It encouraged others to donate toys, too.
He didn’t stop there. Seeing hunger in his community, Orion partnered with food drives and a relief group. They collected more than 100,000 meals for Texas families.
Giving is just one of Orion’s passions. Another is reading. He has combined the two in the Race to 500,000 Books.
In 2021, the group Reading Is Fundamental published the results of a survey. It showed that 94% of teachers, parents, and caregivers are concerned that students don’t have access to print books. “There are people who live in areas where it’s almost impossible to get [books],” Orion says. “It breaks my heart.”
Orion has worked with several organizations. They held events where people donated books. He reached his goal of collecting 500,000 books.
Orion is an author himself. He has written A Kids Book About Leadership. He says his purpose in life is to alleviate pain where he finds it. We can all aspire to that, he says. “When people come together for a common cause, great things can happen.”