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2020 Kid of the Year: Tyler Gordon

Words by
Jana Dalby

DEC 11, 2020

2020 Kid of the Year: Tyler Gordon

To be honest, we thought Tyler Gordon was going to be on the cover of Time Magazine. From thousands of submissions, he’d been honored as one of five finalists for the 2020 “Kid of the Year” award, presented by Time and Nickelodeon.

Kid of the year. What does that mean? It sounds important. And as the award’s show host, Trevor Noah, explained, “It’s a reason not to give up on 2020.” This is the first year Time has added a “Kid of the Year,” as well as “Athlete of the Year” to their annual “Person of the Year” issue. So, it would be a big honor.

It has already been an exceptional year for Gabb Ambassador Tyler Gordon. Early on, he was honored as the 2020 Global Child Prodigy. And not long after, he came aboard as a Gabb Ambassador and thrilled us with his paintings!

Tyler’s Life of Painting and Philanthropy

Now, if you’re not familiar with Tyler’s story, you should probably check out this video for a quick recap. Tyler was born deaf, but later recovered some hearing. He has overcome a lot, including bullying due to his stutter. Then, when he was 10 years old, he picked up a paintbrush for the first time and blew people’s minds.

But it’s more than that with Tyler. He has a special way of touching people, and it’s led to him being invited to paint for people like Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, and so many more. He recently painted vice president elect, Kamala Harris. She even called him up the next day to say thank you.

And still, it’s not the celebrity work that makes Tyler such a special human. He makes an effort to stand up for others every day. He marches in protest rallies, and gives speeches on why each and every person is important. He even has a foundation for other kids who stutter. And when he hits the street, oh man, he’s got a style for miles.

Kid of the Year Award

Time and Nickelodeon teamed up with a team of judges including Chris Hemsworth, Niel Patrick Harris, Ken Jeong, and Billie Eilish to pick one child from thousands of submissions. There were a lot of great kids in there. Kids who started their own recycling programs, kids who’d invented new products, kid athletes and artists and poets, and so much more.

The build up to the announcement of Kid of the Year was great. When it was finally time, we found out it wasn’t Tyler. The winner was Gitanjali Rao, who we want to congratulate on being such an amazing young person.

While he didn’t get the award this time, we are so proud of Tyler. He continues to wow us everyday. Take, for example, the following week when his painting of LeBron James appeared on the cover of Time to announce the Athlete of the Year. 

“When I was born,” writes Tyler of the honor, “doctors told my mom that if I survived I would have lots of health problems and be blind, deaf and mentally delayed. Boy, were they wrong. Today my artwork is on the cover of Time Magazine. I have defied the odds. I would let the word be part of my vocabulary. I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve been through because without all the bad that happened to me, there wouldn’t be all this good happening to me right now.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Congratulations, Tyler Gordon, you made the cover after all. We never doubted you.

Gabb’s Ambassador Program

The Gabb Ambassador program helps young athletes and artists achieve their goals while inspiring and empowering others to chase their own. Gabb Ambassadors are kids supporting other kids, and Tyler Gordon has done an incredible job at doing that very thing. Through this program we hope to inspire kids to get out and find things they love doing, and simply live beyond the screen. Follow our ambassadors at

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