Blog | The HALO Awards
- Posted on 10/12/2011 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, 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, 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 WeStopHate.org, 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, 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, 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!
- Posted on 10/11/2011 by Lisa
Our first How Do You HALO? video went live today! Check it out:
Here's Catherine from NJ, explaining how she HALOs:
"I'm their shoulder to cry on. I let them know that they're not alone, and that I'm always here for them." - Catherine, NJ
Want to see yourself on TeenNick and TeenNick.com?
* Make a short video (one minute or less) about how you're Helping And Leading Others in your community.
* Upload your video to TeenNick! All the details are right here.
* Tell your most amazing and inspiring friends about this opportunity, and urge them to make a HALO video, too.
By sharing your story, you'll encourage other people to Help and Lead Others, and that's what the HALOs are all about.
Don't be shy! Upload a HALO video!
- Posted on 10/05/2011 by Lisa
Have you guys seen this promo for the 2011 HALO Awards?
As Nick Cannon walked down the hall in slow motion to "Halo," I got a little teary-eyed, and started thinking about all the awesomeness of the 2009 and 2010 HALOs. Every single one of these teens is still so inspiring to me.
Also, have you taken our new quiz, What Color Is Your HALO?
So... what did you get?
- Posted on 09/14/2011 by Lisa
Attention, awesome people of the world! Each year, the TeenNick HALO Awards honor four real teens who are making a difference, but this year, we want to get everyone involved.
Here's the deal:
* Make a short video (one minute or less) about what you're doing to make your community a better place. If you're Helping And Leading Others in a big way -- or even in a small way -- we want to know. Talk to the camera, and tell us your story.
* Upload your video to TeenNick! Get all the details and instructions right here.
* Tell your most amazing and inspiring friends about this contest, and urge them to make a HALO video, too. Tweet about it, post a link on Facebook... do your thing.
You might see yourself (and your friends!) on TeenNick or teennick.com in the weeks leading up to the HALO Awards. If we share your video with the world, your HALO story could encourage other young people to get more involved in their communities, and that's what the HALO Awards are all about.
- Posted on 09/02/2011 by Mary
Get ready everyone... the 2011 HALO Awards are coming, and they're going to be bigger and better than ever!
And you'll have even more ways to take part in the HALO spirit! For starters... you can submit a 1 minute-long video telling us what YOU're doing to make the world and/or your community a better place, and how you're Helping And Leading Others. Your video could end up on TV!
- Posted on 01/12/2011 by Mary
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. A year later, close to a million people are still homeless, mostly living in makeshift tents; the rebuilding effort is extraordinarily slow and suffering is still tremendous. Here's a NY Times article about the general outlook in Haiti today.
We're remembering that a year ago today, HALO Award honoree Herold got the most terrifying news of his life -- then sprung into action and made an immeasurable difference in the lives of strangers.
One of the organizations that he gave part of his HALO Award money to is Fireside International's Haiti Relief efforts. Here's an interview they did with him, and here's information on an example of the work they're doing -- building The Learning Village, a safe space with food, shelter, medical attention, and education for kids who didn't just suffer from the earthquake itself, but who were victimized by an American man who was supposed to be helping them.
In honor of our new buddy Herold, I think today's a good day to take some time out to think about what we're grateful for, and then try to give others something to be grateful for, too.
- Posted on 12/10/2010 by Mary
Degrassi working with Free the Children in Kenya; photo courtesy Charlotte Arnold
I know the rest of us are bummed we didn't win the sweepstakes, but when you read this interview with Kerri, I don't think you'll be sad that she won.
Kerri and two friends will be taking a trip with Free the Children, an organization "driven by over 1 million shamelessly idealistic youth" who build schools and other infrastructure in countries that desperately need them. In fact, Free the Children was founded by a 12 year old and his friends back in 1995 -- just the kind of guy who would be showing up on the HALO Awards now.
The Degrassi cast has gone on Free the Children trips for years... and now Kerri will be joining Degrassi stars on a trip that will change not just their lives, but the lives of children in need. Here's what Kerri has to say about it!
Congratulations!! What was the tweet was that you won with?
It said "I HALO by being part of an organization that helps youth with mental health problems."
Can you tell us a little about that organization?
It's called Youth Speaking Out, and they run as part of a group called Parent Support Network in Rhode Island. My boyfriend was actually in it since he was 8, and then when we started dating he was like, "I'd really like you to come with me." I was like, "OK Sure, I'll see what it's all about." I wish that they were more well known because they really do a lot of helpful stuff.
They used to only meet once a month because they didn't have enough money, but they just went back to being once a week, so we go every Thursday.
A lot of [the kids there] are from group homes. Or they used to be in group homes, and now they're sharing their experiences and try to help [the others] deal with the situations they're in. So they include people [like me] who aren't from that... I listen to the kids, to hear what it's like, [and I offer] the perspective of someone who's not in a group home.
And you're studying to be a medical assistant, so you can help people for a living?
Yeah. It's funny, when I went to my first week of classes they asked me where I saw myself with my degree in five years, and I told them I'd really like to be in another country helping less fortunate people with my medical degree. And now I'm going somewhere!
Have you been a Degrassi fan for a long time?
Uh, yeah. Since I was in like 7th grade. I've never stopped watching it.
Who are your favorite characters?
I always liked JT, but then I was so upset when he died, I was crying. And then I told myself every time they came up with new characters, "I'm never going to like anybody as much as I liked him. He was just the best character."
And then this season came out and now Eli's on it. I like him. [laughs] And so does everybody else. And I really like Jessica Tyler, she has such a good singing voice.
And don't you get to bring two friends? Who are you going to take?
Yup, I'm going to take my boyfriend and my friend Kathy, because she always talks about how she's always wanted to be in Africa. And she's like "I'll never get to go, it costs so much money." [Since Africa's on the list of places we could end up going,] I called her and was like "You're coming with me."
It's so crazy, I never win anything! When they called me I said, "Is this a joke?" I can't win tickets off the radio, but I can win something as big and life-changing as this!
- Posted on 12/10/2010 by Chairman Nick Cannon
Finally! The day we've been waiting for, the day I've been working towards all year... The 2010 TeenNick HALO Awards air tonight at 8pm et! Make sure you're here for the live tweeting event, too -- because if there's anything the HALO Awards are about, it's community. The whole wide world-sized community. So come on, let's all talk about it. Get inspired! Get connected! Get your HALO on!
See you tonight on your TV screens,
PS: Don't forget -- we'll announce the winner of the How Do You HALO Sweepstakes during the show tonight! Find out who's going to get their HALO on with the stars of Degrassi!
- Posted on 12/07/2010 by Mary
Friday night -- a scant 72 hours from now -- three exciting things are going down:
1) The HALO Awards are on at 8p et!
2) The winner of the How Do You HALO sweepstakes will be announced during the show!
And 3) Lisa and I will be here live tweeting the episode, and we'd love for you to join us!
Just stop by the site Friday night at showtime (8p et), and we'll be live chatting via Twitter with y'all. Like a gigantor twitter party. A heart party! A party in our hearts. And our computers. And our computers' hearts.
Be there, or be the sad sack who missed the heart party!
- Posted on 12/06/2010 by Lisa
If so, it's the perfect time to take our new quiz: "How Optimistic Are You?"
I just took it and got:
p.s. If you're not feeling all that optimistic at the moment, feel free to come back and take the quiz again after you watch the HALO Awards on Friday. I have a theory that they'll put everyone who sees them in a more optimistic mood.