The 2011 HALO Awards: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on Oct 12, 2011 by Lisa

Mark your calendar for Nov. 6th at 8pm on Nick@Nite!

The third annual TeenNick HALO Awards, hosted by Nick Cannon, honor teens who are Helping And Leading Others. If you've never seen the HALOs before, they aren't your typical awards show. Instead of honoring celebrities, the HALO Awards match four extraordinary teens with a mega-celebrity who shares their commitment to service. This year's celebrity guests will include Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, David Beckham, and Jessica Biel. (This is my third year watching the HALOs, and I'm not embarrassed to say that the previous two shows made me cry more than anything else I've ever seen on TV. This is some seriously inspiring stuff.)

Here's a peek at the teens featured on this year's show:

James O'Dwyer and Taylor Swift, 2011 HALO AwardsJames O'Dwyer, 19, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
James was a freshman at University of Alabama when the EF4 tornado hit Tuscaloosa, leaving a six mile track of destruction across the region. He started Magnolia Disaster Relief, an aid program that targets small rural towns hit the hardest by tornadoes. James helped deliver food, water, clothing, toys, furniture, and fridges to people rebuilding their lives. James' HALO match is Taylor Swift who, among her many philanthropic endeavors, raises money and awareness to benefit those affected by tornadoes and floods.

Emily-Anne Rigal and Lady Gaga, 2011 HALO AwardsEmily-Anne Rigal, 17, Williamsburg, Virginia
As a young overweight girl, Emily-Anne was bullied so harshly she was forced to switch schools. That experience lead her to create, a teen-run YouTube channel and website, to combat bullying. It's a place where teens can post videos about their experiences and give tips to others on how to overcome bullying. Emily-Anne's HALO match, Lady Gaga, campaigns for anti-bullying laws and encourages teens to be themselves.

Shanoah Washington and Jessica Biel, 2011 HALO AwardsShanoah Washington, 18, St. Petersburg, Florida
Shanoah was born in California, where her home life was plagued with gang violence until her grandmother moved her to Florida. Through the local Boys & Girls Club, Shanoah discovered her talents as a slam poet and spoken word artist. Now, she helps young people find their own voices. She created Sista2Sista, a mentoring program which instills young girls with self-esteem, self-discipline, and positive thinking. Shanoah's HALO match is Jessica Biel, who works with Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign through which girls in the U.S. help give girls in developing countries a better future.

Kyle Weiss and David Beckham, 2011 HALO AwardsKyle Weiss, 18, Danville, California
A huge soccer fan, Kyle's activism was sparked after speaking to Angolan fans at the 2006 World Cup and learning about the lack of sports resources available to the youth of Africa. Kyle and his brother started FUNDaFIELD, an organization that raises funds to build soccer fields in developing countries. Nine soccer fields have been funded so far. Kyle's HALO match is David Beckham, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, who campaigns for children's education and recreational programs around the world.

Watch Nick Cannon's intro to the 2011 HALO Awards above, and don't miss the show, premiering on Nov. 6th at 8pm on Nick@Nite. The 90-minute special features musical performances, celebrity presenters, and of course -- a few surprises. If you're a crier, definitely have a box of tissues handy.

p.s. If you're in the mood for more inspiring HALO fun, go take one of our HALO quizzes!