Kamala Harris honors youth in special address at Kids’ Choice Awards

The vice president presented the Generation Change Award at Saturday's event

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Nickelodeon’s 2021 Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday featured many famous guests and presenters, but the guest with perhaps the highest-profile during the event was Kamala Harris.

The U.S. vice president appeared at this year’s annual event to make a special address to kids by presenting the Generation Change Award.

Harris was introduced to the virtual audience by Golden Globe-winning actress Jennifer Garner. The Generation Change Award is part of ViacomCBS’ pro-social initiative to create civil engagement by connecting children with innovators and leaders, as reported by Entertainment Tonight.

Vice President Kamala Harris presents the Generation Change Award at Nickelodeon’s 2021 Kids Choice Awards Saturday. (via screenshot)

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Harris presented the award to this year’s recipients: kids everywhere in America.

“Thank you to the young leaders for being so incredible and for all that you do and will do,” Harris said.

She went on to congratulate all young people for their exemplary behavior safely navigating through life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From social distancing to remote learning, you’ve been through a lot this year, but through it all, you young leaders have really stepped up. You’ve worn your masks, you’ve helped out your neighbors, you’ve been role models in your community,” she said.

Harris commended young viewers for showing initiative and motivating both her and President Joe Biden.

“When I was young, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t just sit around and complain about things, do something about it.’ Well, you are doing something,” she said. “You are creating a better future, and you inspire me and President Biden every day.”

With that said, she assured the audience that she and Biden were working hard to help eliminate COVID-19 in order to put an end to remote learning and get kids back into the classroom with their teachers and peers.

“We are so grateful to you, and we want you to know that we are doing everything we can to make sure all of our students and our young leaders can get back to school and back with your friends and be safe and thrive,” she continued.

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By being honored with the Generation Change Award, the young leaders of America are in some good company. Past recipients of the honor have gone to NBA All-Star LeBron James and professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe. James won in 2020 for his hand in founding his “I Promise Academy” for students in Ohio and Rapinoe the year prior for her advocacy for LGTBQ+ rights.

Harris was commended by ViacomCBS global head of inclusion and executive vice president Marva Smalls, who, according to Deadspin, called the VP, “a pioneer and role model for us all, but especially for today’s kids, who can find inspiration in the story of her path forward and the barriers she has broken from childhood to today. Nickelodeon is proud to bestow this year’s Generation Change Award to kids everywhere, and we’re honored to have the Vice President further trumpet the courage and vitality they have in the wake of so many challenges.”

The 2021 Kids’ Choice Awards was the 34th annual installment. Saturday’s event was hosted by Saturday Night Live actor and former Nickelodeon star Kenan Thompson.

Although the ceremony was virtual, it featured many special guests and winners, including Garner, Justin Bieber, Robert Downey Jr. and Lin-Manuel Miranda, according to Billboard.

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