TeenNick Blog

  • Degrassi Recap: 'Believe' Part 2

    Posted on 07/22/2014 by Rachel1016

    It's hard to believe that we're nearing the end of the chapter, but that doesn't mean the Degrassi drama is slowing down one bit! If you haven't seen "Believe Pt. 2", watch it online and then read our recap!

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    Maya and Miles started getting re-cozy, but Miles was nervous that his testimony in court would shake things up (again). Remember when he almost kissed Zoe at his fateful party? Well, Maya didn't. And sooner or later, she was going to find out.

    When Winston took the stand, he testified that Miles and Zoe were about to fool around before Zoe passed out.

    And Maya decided she had had enough.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2


    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    Meanwhile, a gossip TV segment that was released surrounding the trial revealed that Zoe was actually booted from West Drive for pill popping. She was trying to move on from the trial by focusing on her audition, but this new video launched a disastrous wrench into her plan. Now the whole world knew her little secret.

    As the video started to spread, things went from bad to worse. And when Zoe didn't know where to turn, she picked up her old habit: She swiped a few pills from Zig and popped them in school.

    It didn't take long before Zoe, high on prescription drugs, started hallucinating in class.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    It seemed like her world was beginning to crumble. Was Zoe starting to crumble with it?

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    Still high on the pills, she lashed out at the reporter who spread the terrible stories.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    And later on, Zig found Zoe crying in the back of the bus. She had reached the end of her rope, but Zig sat with her, comforted her, and tried to give her perspective.

    Back in the courtroom, before Becky's testimony, Luke accidentally revealed something really important: At the time of the alleged assault...

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    When Becky heard this, she was certain that Zoe never consented. As heartbreaking as it was, Becky knew she had to tell the truth on the stand.

    As things were finally starting to turn around, Zo� mustered enough strength to give her honest and moving impact statement in court.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    After her statement, she thanked Zig. And gave him money to pay off the gang, and get out of dealing drugs for good.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    And when the jury finally came to their decision, Luke and Neil were found...

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2


    Guilty.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 2

    Although Zoe was able to find justice in this heart-wrenching case, Becky's world was now turned upside down. Thanks in large part to her testimony, her brother was now convicted of sexual assault. And when Becky turned to her mom for support, she was cold. Oh, so cold.

    Zoe's story sheds light on the complicated issue of sexual assault. It can happen to all kinds of people, and all-too often blame is assigned to the victim. Situations like these aren't easy to talk about, but if you or someone you know have been affected by sexual assault, there are resources available and it is never too late to get help. Tell someone you trust. You don't have to deal with this alone. Call the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or go to www.rainn.org.



    What did you all think of this eventful episode? What do you think is in store for the finale? Get to talkin' in the comments!

  • Alien Dawn Marathon Coming To TeenNick + New Adventure Game!

    Posted on 07/21/2014 by Rachel1016

    Alien Dawn Marathon


    Meet Cameron Turner. He's a totally normal 16-year-old boy who goes to school, enjoys skateboarding with his friends, and spends most of his time searching for his missing astronaut father.

    Hold up, what?

    Let us explain: Sixteen years ago, Cameron's father was on a mission to intercept an asteroid headed for Earth. But when he suddenly disappears without a trace, it's up to Cameron and his friends to find Mr. Turner by uncovering clues hidden in the animated pages of a comic book.

    Alien Dawn Marathon


    And now it's time to get your paranormal party pants on because Alien Dawn is coming to TeenNick for a full series marathon starting July 26th at 12pm ET! Tune in for every episode of this epic mystery to see Cameron and his friends kick some serious alien butt. It's gonna be out of this world.

    Alien Dawn Marathon

    Alien Dawn Marathon


    But there's MORE! While you wait, uncover how the comic conspiracy began by playing this brand NEW Alien Dawn adventure game! It's up to you to unlock what lies behind the mystery of the comic... before time runs out!

    Alien Dawn Marathon


  • TeenNick Top 10: Your Favorite Videos, Every Witch Way and the Return of 5 Seconds of Summer

    Posted on 07/17/2014 by Kayla6548

    TeenNick Top 10


    Can you believe that it's already mid-July?! Summer is flying by, but that doesn't mean we're slowing things down here at TeenNick. In fact, we're just getting started! So while you're catching some rays by the pool or sipping on a cold glass of lemonade, be sure to turn on this summer's best hits.

    TeenNick Top 10


    This Friday, TNT10 will be welcoming the cast of Every Witch Way, as well as the return of fresh artist 5 Seconds of Summer! So don't sweat it if you missed them on previous episodes, because now's your chance to check out this four-piece Aussie band. And did we mention that listening to their hit single "She Looks So Perfect" is the best way to gear up for a summer sunset?

    TeenNick Top 10


    And let's not forget last week's episode featuring a Kid's Choice Sports 2014 Takeover! We hope you all voted for your favorite A-list athletes. But just in case you were too busy hanging out at the beach, there's still time to vote before the show on Thursday, July 17th at 8pm ET!

    TeenNick Top 10



    Be sure to tune in at 10 pm ET on TeenNick to watch this week's ultimate countdown! In the meantime, let us know which summer single you think is the hottest by voting right here.



  • Degrassi Recap: 'Believe' Part 1

    Posted on 07/16/2014 by Rachel1016

    This week on Degrassi, we took it to court. Zoe's trial against Becky's brother, Luke, has been a long time coming and on last night's episode it all went down in a judge's gown. If you haven't seen "Believe Pt. 1" yet, watch it online here here before reading our recap!

    DISORDER IN THE COURT
    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    Zoe's fame from West Drive drew a lot of media attention to her sexual assault case. Reporters began swarming the Degrassi campus for information about the case, and some were questioning whether accusations against Becky's brother, Luke, were fabricated. As if the media circus wasn't enough to handle, Zoe was also preparing for an important audition. To say the least, she was having trouble focusing.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    The first day in court, Zoe's lawyer began to question Luke about the Hollingsworth party and the incident in the pool house. When the lawyer asked if the encounter with Zoe was consensual, Luke replied, "She didn't say no." He also denied taking advantage of Zoe's intoxicated state to violate her while she was passed out.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    Then, as Frankie was questioned by the prosecution, Zoe's case started to look even weaker. When asked, Frankie had to admit that Zoe "wanted to hook up that night" even though she was really drunk when she said it. With the video evidence expunged from the investigation, the defense was starting to convince the jury that Zoe's reputation would suggest she was more into hooking up with Luke than she really was. Why were they asking what she drank, why she was there, what she did to "lead him on?"

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    Zoe lashed out at her lawyer for not doing more to command the trial, and her lawyer told her to stay out of court. Feeling helpless, she decided that the best way to share her side of the story was to talk to a reporter directly. But when her quote was used against her in court, it seemed as though the trial was her's to lose. The victim is never to blame, and we hope the jury can see that. Only 'yes' means 'yes.'

    TRUE NORTH
    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    But Becky was also having a hard time with the impending trial. Since her mom made it clear that they would need her to defend Luke's innocence, she struggled with what she would say on the stand, truly believing that her brother was guilty but not wanting to abandon him.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    She became so overwhelmed, in fact, that she left the court room in the middle of Luke's questioning to return to Degrassi for an orienteering assignment. She just so happened to be paired up with Drew and less-than-stellar compass skills got them lost. Becky became noticeably frustrated and Drew suspected that it wasn't just about orienteering � it was about the trial. Drew tried to comfort Becky about her situation, assuring her that no one would ever blame her for supporting her brother.

    OLD HABITS DIE HARD
    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    With all of the press surrounding the trial, Maya wanted to do something to support Zoe. She decided to get Miles' help making T-shirts and placards for students to wear at the trail. And as they started spending time together, Maya even made it seem like there was a chance that Miles could have another shot.

    But here's just one thing. When Miles testifies in court, he's going to have to admit to almost making out with Zoe while he and Maya were still dating. Something Maya never found out about. Oof.

    Degrassi: Believe Pt. 1

    And even though Zig didn't seem too happy about #Mayales reconnecting, he had bigger problems on his hands. When a member of the gang came around Degrassi, Zig tried to tell him he had retired. But it doesn't look like he's going to be off the hook that easy.


    What did you think of this episode? What do you predict will happen next week? Let us know in the comments and don't forget to tune in for "Believe Pt. 2" next Tuesday at 9pm ET!



    Zoe's story sheds light on the complicated issue of sexual assault. It can happen to all kinds of people, and all-too often blame is assigned to the victim. Situations like these aren't easy to talk about, but if you or someone you know have been affected by sexual assault, there are resources available and it is never too late to get help. Tell someone you trust. You don't have to deal with this alone. Call the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or go to www.rainn.org.

  • TeenNick Top 10: Kids' Choice Sports Takeover!

    Posted on 07/10/2014 by Rachel1016

    TeenNick Top 10


    Hut... hut... HIKE!

    Are you ready to get your head in the game?! Kids' Choice Sports 2014 is right around the corner, and the competition is fierce! On Thursday, July 17th at 8pm ET on Nick, join some A-list athletes and pro football Hall Of Famer Michael Strahan as he hosts our FIRST EVER awards show all about sports!

    TeenNick Top 10


    Here at TeenNick, we're warming you up with a very special Kids' Choice Sports-themed episode of TeenNick Top 10 this Friday at 10pm ET. Tune in for some all-star videos and get a glimpse of Nick Cannon's athletic side (or, you know, lack thereof...)!

    TeenNick Top 10


    Plus, your favorite host will be joined by some very special, very sporty guests: Olympic gold-medal gymnast McKayla Maroney and twin brothers Jason and Devon McCourty of the NFL! These all-star athletes are not to be missed.

    TeenNick Top 10


    TeenNick Top 10


    And while you're waiting patiently for Friday's episode, why not head over to Nick.com to vote for your favorite athletes and sports moments for Kids' Choice Sports 2014?? Find out if your favorites made the cut on July 17th, and tune in to TeenNick Top 10 this Friday to get a taste of the action! Now�play ball!

    TeenNick Top 10




  • Five World Cup Nail Art Designs To Get You Pumped For The Finals

    Posted on 07/10/2014 by Kayla6548

    Its MAJOR crunch time over in Brazil as the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is upon us! If you haven't been keeping up with the soccer (or should we say, football?) madness, a total of 64 matches are being played in 12 cities across Brazil to see who will be the new world champions.

    With 32 teams participating, it's now down to the final TWO: Germany and Argentina will duel it out in the championship game this weekend as Brazil and the Netherlands, who both came up short in the semifinals, will compete for third place. Here at TeenNick, we've been fiercely watching to see which team will bring home the cup. All we know is that it's gonna be a nail biter!

    World Cup Nail Art

    Credit: StephsNails


    To celebrate the global soccer competition, we've asked some of our favorite nail artists to share with us World Cup nail art that represents the final four countries still in the tournament. And wow, are we impressed!

    World Cup Nail Art

    Credit: Ideias de Caroline


    Unfortunately for Brazil, after winning 4 games and tying 1, they suffered a brutal 7-1 loss to Germany two nights ago. *Sheds tear* But, it's not over yet! We're still rooting for you, Brazil, in your final match against the Netherlands for third place. Here's hoping these festive green and blue nails with gold star decals get you in the zone just as much as they did for us!

    World Cup Nail Art

    Credit: Princess and Polish


    Undefeated throughout this entire competition, Argentina has been killing it! With one of the world's best players on their side, Lionel Messi, Argentina is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the championship game. And look at those perfectly painted Argentinean flags. Don't the suns just scream winner?!

    World Cup Nail Art

    Credit: LaLaLacquer


    The Dutch have been pretty dominant on the field as well! Beating Spain, who were the defending champions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was a huge triumph for them. We're pretty sure they came back with a vengeance after they were the runner-ups to Spain in the 2010 finals. Their World Cup journey stopped short, however, after a brutal loss to Argentina in a penalty kick shoot-out. But that didn't stop our girl at lalalacquer from doing an awesome job of combining the Dutch flag with the country's famous tulips. Flowers on nails just never get old, do they?!

    World Cup Nail Art

    Credit: Little Red Loves



    Talk about powerful! These nails definitely show the strength of Germany's team as they enter the finals against Argentina. The black, red and yellow ombre effect is definitely what we call FIERCE! And isn't the soccer ball just the perfect reminder of what this competition is all about? We're talking about the love of the game, of course!

    During these final days we wish the remaining teams the best of luck! Fans, be sure to show your spirit. Again we'll be biting our nails in anticipation (or should we say painting them...)! Which country nail design are you rooting for?

  • Degrassi Recap: 'Out of My Head'

    Posted on 07/09/2014 by Rachel1016

    So. Much. Drama. Did you catch last night's Degrassi? We've got a lot to wrap up, so if you haven't seen "Out of My Head" yet, watch it online here and then read our recap!

    I CAN'T BE SEEN WITH YOU
    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    Tristan was on cloud nine ever since he and Mr. Yates began a passionate, if totally illegal and secret, love affair. And even though Mr. Yates made it very clear that no one could ever know about their relationship (hello, RED FLAG #367!), it didn't take long for Maya to find out what was going on.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    She reported the situation to Principal Simpson, which prompted a pretty intense questioning, where, despite Tristan's denial of everything, it was clear the allegations were true. Before long, Mr. Yates was suspended and faced with an investigation for having inappropriate relations with a student, and Tristan was devastated.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    Tristan, sure that their love could conquer anything, insisted that they could figure it out together. Yates disdainfully replied, "How could you be so na�ve?"

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    Convinced that Maya was out to sabotage the only love Tristan's ever known, he blew up at her for ruining his life. In his eyes, how could she possibly know what it feels like to lose a love when guys are fawning over her all the time?

    But, we ask you Degrassians, were they really in love? Or was Mr. Yates a master-manipulator taking advantage of a student genuinely hoping and searching for love? We've seen this play out on Degrassi before (does anyone remember when this happened to Paige with Mr. O?), and at the end of the day, Tristan's a kid and Mr. Yates is an adult.

    Our hearts break for Tristan, but it's not too difficult to see the true colors of this doomed and inappropriate relationship. And as for Tristan's friendship with Maya, do you think he'll be able to understand why she did what she did?

    THE REAL REASONDegrassi: Out Of My Head

    Frankie was concerned that her mom paid Becky to allow her to walk in the fashion show. Worried that she didn't land her spot based on merit, but rather based on her reputation as the rich girl, Frankie confronted Becky.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    Much to Frankie's surprise, Becky revealed that the only reason she wasn't originally chosen was because Winston, apparently, couldn't be around Frankie�because he liked her so much.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    So Chewy has feelings for his best friend's sister, after all! Frankie feels the same and, well, Miles will just have to survive!

    SURPRISE BY DESIGN
    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    When Imogen thought her new love interest Jack didn't like her designs for the Degrassi fashion show, she decided to completely transform them from Hollywood Glamour to verrry avant garde haute couture. And even though Imogen was sure her new boundary-pushing designs would impress Jack, Becky was really upset that she ruined the original dresses and compromised the theme of the fashion show.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    Imogen realized that she had made a huge mistake and put her own needs in front of her friend's (and those of the whole fashion show). When it came time to fill in for Tristan as the emcee, she took the stage to publicly apologize to Becky.

    Degrassi: Out Of My Head

    And since Imogen realized her mistakes, she didn't entirely have to face her karmic comeuppance: Not only did Becky accept her apology, but Jack totally liked her designs all along (and was still into her)! See, Immy? Just being you is good enough!


    If you're still thinking about last night's episode, we feel you! Put some of those thoughts in the comments!

  • TeenNick Top 10 Fresh Artist Interview: 5 Seconds of Summer

    Posted on 07/03/2014 by Rachel1016

    Fresh Artist: The Vamps


    You know that anywhere, anytime music that just puts you in a good mood no matter what? Well, Aussie pop-punk band 5 Seconds of Summer are pretty much the poster boys for that kind of feel-good vibe. And chances are, you've already come across (and subsequently played on repeat) 5SOS's mega-hit "She Looks So Perfect." But we're here to tell you that Luke, Michael, Calum and Ashton are only getting started.

    We caught up with our new Fresh Artist to learn a little more about their debut album which drops July 22nd, their experience on tour with One Direction, and the ultimate question: Boxers, briefs or tighty whities?

    1. From your hit single "She Looks So Perfect" to your TV debut on the Billboard Music Awards, we can imagine the past few months of your career have been quite the whirlwind. What is the biggest difference in your lives right now compared to a year or two ago?

    It's been a whirlwind! Four hours sleep a night, lots of air miles, lots of new cultures. Our love for touring remains the same, and we cannot wait to be back in America!

    2. Your songs are very lyrically driven and clever. If you had to choose one line from one of your songs as your favorite, which would it be and why?

    If Hollywood could see me now
    I'd get the starring role
    But they won't so I'll just keep on acting a fool


    From "Heartache on the Big Screen"

    3. Having been on tour with One Direction, what have you learned from the band that has helped you with your own career?

    They work so hard, and have shown us that by working hard you can achieve big things no matter where you are from.

    4. What is one of the craziest things a fan has ever done for you?

    [One fan] bought us a star. It was called the A155 Star in the Milky Way...

    5. Your debut album drops in July! In three words, can you describe what fans can expect from the album?

    High energy rock!

    6. And finally, what is one thing in America that you wish you had in Australia?

    Squirrels!

    RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
    And now, the rapid fire round! We asked 5 Seconds of Summer's Ashton Irwin a series of silly questions, and here are the first things that came to mind!

    5SOS: Rapid Fire



    If you want to catch more of these guys, head over to the TeenNick Top 10 page! And don't forget to tune in this Friday at 10pm ET!

  • Degrassi Recap: 'Hypnotize'

    Posted on 07/02/2014 by Rachel1016

    Whoa. Is anyone still recovering from all of the drama that went down on last night's episode? Sure, Degrassi is no stranger to stirring to plot (especially when it comes to matters of the heart) but this week took it to the next level! From teacher-student relationships to budding romances, there is much to discuss about this episode. If you haven't seen "Hypnotize" yet, watch it online and then read our recap below!

    CROSS THE LINE
    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    Tristan landed the role of emcee for the Degrassi Fashion Show much to the congratulatory praise of Mr. Yates. In fact, since Mr. Yates was so supportive, Tristan decided to ask his good looking teacher for help writing banter for the show � which meant going over to his apartment after school, alone.

    After a little bit of writing, and a perhaps a little too much drinking, Tristan kissed Mr. Yates. But right when he pulled away to apologize, Mr. Yates surprised him and took it a step further. Tristan quickly became uncomfortable and left.

    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    The next day in class, Tristan tried to apologize to Mr. Yates for what happened the night before. But Mr. Yates, clearly uncomfortable, immediately retreated and dismissed Tristan for being "immature."

    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    That night, Tristan went back to his teacher's apartment. When Mr. Yates answered the door, Tristan insisted that he was not only mature, but he was ready to take it to the next level. And so he did.

    Degrassians, it doesn't take much convincing to realize how dangerously suspicious this relationship is. We hope you felt the same discomfort we did as Mr. Yates, an authority figure, pursued his student. There is much left to be revealed and we can only imagine where this story will go next week, but what does your good judgment tell you now?

    MODEL BEHAVIOR
    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    Frankie hoped to be selected as a model for the fashion show, but after what she thought was a great audition, she didn't make the cut. With both Zo� and Keisha getting the nod from Becky and her fashion show committee, Frankie started to question what about her looks weren't good enough.

    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    She became so insecure, in fact, that she asked her mom if she could get plastic surgery for her birthday. Momma Hollingsworth, thankfully, quickly shot that request down, and encouraged Frankie to talk to Becky. She would convince her that she had the experience and the skills to make a great model. And she did!

    DANCE WITH SOMEBODY
    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    Imogen finally mustered enough courage to ask Jack out on a date. When Jack invited Imogen to come watch her dance class after school, Imogen fell even harder for her talented crush. As Imogen hung out with Jack and her free-spirited dance friends, she smoked some weed — something we guess Imogen doesn't do too often — learned a few dance moves from Jack, and before they knew it, fell on the floor sharing their first kiss!

    Degrassi: Hypnotize

    Only thing is, because Imogen got high and was up so late with Jack, she didn't finish her sketches for the Degrassi Fashion show on time. She got the girl, but suffered the consequence of getting high and let her co-organizer (and good friend) Becky down. Will Imogen's relationship with Jack get in the way of her responsibilities? And perhaps more importantly, could it compromise her friendships?

    There's a lot to process from this episode, so let us know your thoughts in the comments!

  • Q&A With July HALO Effect Honoree Zachary Certner

    Posted on 07/02/2014 by Rachel1016

    HALO Effect: Zachary Certner


    It's the beginning of the month and that means it's time to honor teens who Help And Lead Others in a big way. Join us in congratulating our HALO Effect honoree for July, Zachary Certner!

    Zach is a eighteen year-old New Jersey student who co-founded SNAP, Inc. (Special Needs Athletic and Awareness Programs), a non-profit organization that aims to help autistic children across the globe improve their social and athletic skills through sports programs. Check our our exclusive Q&A to learn more about Zachary's incredible dedication to this cause!

    What inspired you to co-found SNAP, Inc.? What were the beginning stages of the organization like?
    I was inspired to get involved with special needs children because a close family friend was diagnosed with severe autism. In my community there are limited programs for special needs children, since sports have always been a passion of mine, I felt strongly about giving every child the opportunity to be part of a team. I was disturbed seeing kids excluded from sports, lunch tables, and even friendships just because they were different. This action led to the creation of my 501c(3) non-profit organization SNAP: Special Needs Athletic and Awareness Programs.

    To translate this idea into a reality, I needed financing and community involvement. To accomplish this massive undertaking I contacted the Board of Education, local recreational departments, mayors, and other community leaders; fundraising became a necessity and I worked endlessly to locate and contact potential donors.

    What do you think is uniquely important about pairing athletic programs with Special Needs advocacy?
    SNAP was formed to help improve the lives of children who suffer from autism and other disabilities. Currently, it is estimated that one in every 84 children is diagnosed with autism. Autism can prevent children from learning, behaving, and communicating effectively. This often leads to bullying and discrimination in the classroom. My hope was that by providing autistic and special needs children with athletic and social programming, I could improve their physical abilities, communication skills, and self-esteem. I created a regular schedule of free sports clinics to give special needs children an opportunity to learn and to play all with peer mentors. My philosophy is Kids Helping Kids; a direct contrast from special needs children's usual interaction with adult doctors, therapists, and teachers.

    How did you work to expand SNAP's influence abroad to countries like Guatemala, Tanzania and China?
    After running our sports clinics for five years in New Jersey, we understand that sports is the way to make everyone feel equal and give them the confidence they need everyday. I felt that the special needs children should learn to give back as well, so we conducted sports drive to collect equipment for children in Tanzania.In 2010, I traveled to Tanzania on the first ever mission trip, providing the children of Sibusisio with donations and sports equipment. The children were especially enthusiastic about soccer, immediately breaking off in game after blowing up the newly donated soccer balls. Everyone was equal on the field, disregarding gender, race, and any disability.

    In 2011, SNAP expanded on a global level and partnered with the first ever special needs school in Nebaj, Guatemala. Thanks to an incredible organization Mayan Hope (link), SNAP hopes to continue helping special needs children around the world. We purchased all necessary materials from schoolbooks and supplies, to desks, chairs, and water purifiers. With the help of Mayan Hope, we hope to raise the necessary funds to secure a permanent and safe learning atmosphere for children with special needs. In a country with no education and awareness on autism, a supportive environment is crucial and necessary.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the sensitivity training SNAP offers to student volunteers?
    Through a series of presentations and hands on modules, I show children the challenges and frustrations faced by their disabled classmates. Using blind folds, mirrors, and balance balls, my training allows students to experience the difficulties and frustrations of various disabilities. It is through the training that the mainstream students walk in the shoes of various disabilities. It is the moment that they feel how frustrated they become doing simple activities that we take for granted everyday, that I know I have reached them.

    What is one of the biggest misconceptions about Special Needs children?
    I think the biggest misconception is that they are just like you and I, they just might not be able to express what they are feeling. They want to be accepted and included even if they are different. People assume that because these children have difficulty interacting with their peers, they are unfriendly or shy. But it is that they cannot communicate their desire for a friendship like we can. They also do not show emotion so that is often difficult interpret what they are feeling.

    Can you recall one memorable moment, big or small, when you realized you were truly making a difference?

    I never imagined that someone who couldn't speak could say so much. Growing up with our family friend was the foundation for my organization. I always wondered if I truly was making a difference in these children's lives. Those thoughts changed, however, when I met Charlie, also afflicted with autism.

    Charlie had been part of SNAP for many years, but struggled each session. When he walked into my clinic's gymnasium the each session, I saw how apprehensive his parents were and wondered each week if he would come back. Charlie remained expressionless as I handed him off to his volunteer to begin practicing basketball. Months past and we barely made improvements. At the clinic, I found Charlie sitting on the floor biting his fingers ferociously. I sat beside him and held his hands away from his mouth. His eyes focused on me, but his face remained expressionless. Charlie then grabbed his electronic interpreter and slowly typed on the keyboard. As soon as he finished, he dropped the computer and ran to other side of the gym. As I picked it up to return it to his parents, I could see what Charlie had written - "C-l-i-n-i-c_y-e-a-h". That was the moment that I knew I had to continue. The magic that is created is unimaginable in the clinics.

    To learn more about Zachary and his organization, check out the clip below!