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KOTY Nominee: Meet Orion


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 campaign DIGITAL VISION./GETTY IMAGES a series of activities designed to produce a particular result (noun) If you would like to be voted class president, you must run a good election campaign. . 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.

Spreading Joy

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.

READY TO GIVE In October 2020, Orion collects food for families in need in Fort Worth, Texas.


Giving is just one of Orion’s passions. Another is reading. He has combined the two in the Race to 500,000 Books.

Life’s Mission

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.”

BOOKS FOR ALL Orion attends a book fair he helped organize in Dallas, Texas, last October.


Orion has worked with several organizations. They held events where people donated books. He reached his goal of collecting 500,000 books.

BOOKED UP! Orion shows off books donated during a drive in Mansfield, Texas, last June.


Orion is an author himself. He has written A Kids Book About Leadership. He says his purpose in life is to alleviate alleviate to lessen or relieve (verb) The doctor prescribed medicine to alleviate my back pain. 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.”

A SPECIAL TOUCH Orion writes a note to a donated book’s future owner in May 2021.


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