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Austin teen named finalist for TIME's first 'Kid of the Year'

KVUE previously featured Ian McKenna when he created Ian's Giving Garden.

AUSTIN, Texas — TIME magazine is showing us hope for the future generation after naming 15-year-old Gitanjali Rao as its first-ever "Kid of the Year."

In an interview with actress Angelina Jolie, the Colorado teen said she started in second and third grade to think about how to use science to create social change, and bring positivity into the world.

And, over time, she has found ways to use technology to tackle issues with contaminated drinking water, opioid addiction and cyberbullying.

Among the finalists for this year's title was an Austin teen. Ian McKenna, 16, was a top-five finalist.

He's known for creating Ian's Giving Garden, a program that expanded to five area schools. Each school has a garden designed to help feed people in need.

In 2019, McKenna told KVUE that he estimated he's given more than 15,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to food banks and local families.

Last year, McKenna was also selected as one of 100 kids to become part of the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy. These youngsters received an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World, where they were able to go behind the scenes and engage in career-oriented workshops, ranging from animation to zoology.

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