Blog | The HALO Awards
- Posted on 12/05/2010 by Mary
HALO Honoree Lauren got a raw deal growing up. Being in an abusive home was bad enough, but being removed from that house by the courts didn't solve her problems. She bounced in and out of 22 foster placements over the next couple of years. It sounds like an unbearable lonely and frustrating experience.
It would be so easy, in Lauren's position, to become self-destructive... and it sounds like Lauren definitely went through a period of that. And it would be enough of an amazing story just to know that she found the strength to reject hopelessness, to pick herself up and create a better life for herself. That would be incredibly inspirational... but Lauren's heart and strength are even bigger than that. She's turning around and helping other kids and teens who are in the same situation she got through, showing them by example -- tirelessly -- that their futures can be beautiful.
You can see even in this short little video that Lauren has a totally nurturing heart... she looks like she gives some of the world's best hugs. I'm so psyched to learn more about her story, and to see her get the recognition she deserves, this Friday on the HALO Awards.
- Posted on 12/04/2010 by Mary
In Ghana, children as young as three years old are sometimes sold into slavery by their desperate parents. We might think of slavery as something from our history books, but there are actually more slaves today than at any time in human history -- 27 million by some calculations, according to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Next Friday on the TeenNick HALO Awards, you'll meet honoree Joshua Hall. He traveled to Ghana as part of Journey for Change, and became close friends with a former child slave named Donald. Since then he's become a powerful advocate on behalf of child slaves, even speaking at the United Nations.
To Joshua, it's natural to try to help wherever it's needed, even if that means traveling to the other side of the world. I'm so excited that the winner of the How Do You HALO Sweepstakes will get a taste of that kind of perspective-changing travel, too...
Man, next week is going to rule.
- Posted on 12/03/2010 by Mary
Let's be honest: people can have some preconceived notions about pageant winners, just like they can about cheerleaders. But I think we can all agree... peoples' actions are a lot more important than their labels, right?
One of this year's TeenNick HALO Honorees is Jordan Somer. She's a dancer and a pageant winner -- this year she was crowned National American Miss Nebraska Teen. But she has a much bigger agenda than winning titles and being in parades. After regularly volunteering with the Special Olympics, Jordan was inspired to create a new pageant for girls with disabilities, called the Miss Amazing Pageant.
Jordan was 13 when she started Miss Amazing. She works her butt off on it -- it's not like this is a pageant with a huge staff following orders. For Jordan, it's a lot of running around, coordinating, raising money, making sure things run smoothly, and giving the participants the attention they deserve.
You'll get to know a lot more about Jordan next Friday, when the 2010 TeenNick HALO Awards air at 8p et. Who knows what she might inspire you to accomplish?
- Posted on 12/02/2010 by Mary
He grew up mostly in Haiti before moving to Miami, but in so many ways Herold Charles is a typical American high school senior: glued to his cell phone, into Michael Jackson, talks a mile a minute. And there's something else about him that I think any of us can relate to: before January's earthquake, he knew Haiti needed help but... he just didn't know how he could be that help.
But when disaster struck, he found a power in himself that he didn't know he had. And with it, he reunited families and literally helped save lives.
Remember at the beginning of this year, when a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, how terrible we all felt? So many of us cried at the images we saw; we donated what we could to organizations providing aid and wondered aloud, "What can we do?" I remember generally feeling kind of helpless about it all.
But imagine how you would have felt if you were far from your home, and you turned on the TV and saw those images of devastation... and realized that was your home? What if your family were there, in Haiti -- with millions homeless and 200,000 dead -- and you couldn't contact them?
Next Friday, December 10 at 8p et when the 2010 TeenNick HALO Awards air, you'll learn about how Herold lived through that nightmare. What happened next will inspire you, touch your heart... probably make you cry again... and above all, will help you realize that yes, you really CAN make a difference.
- Posted on 11/30/2010 by Chairman Nick Cannon
By now maybe you heard about our How Do You HALO Sweepstakes. You can get all the details about it and enter to win over here.
I love this sweepstakes for two big reasons. The first is that I'm looking forward to reading all of your tweets about how YOU Help And Lead Others, and all the big and small things you're doing in your own life to make the world a better place. Just looking at some of the first entries now, I'm finding out about all the recycling clubs you're members of, the animal shelters you're volunteering at, and the wonderful organizations you support. I feel so good about the world's future just hearing from all of you.
And the second big reason is that I think the grand prize is truly priceless. This trip that the winner and his or her friends are going to take... it's a journey that I really do believe will be life-changing.
Doing service like this in a place where it's desperately needed can't help but give you a new perspective on the blessings of your life. The feeling in the winner's heart after this trip... it's better than any money or limo or anything. It's the light. And to experience that light alongside cast members from Degrassi... y'all are going to bond. It's going to be for real.
We can all get a glimpse of that light when the 2010 TeenNick HALO Awards airs on December 10 at 8pm et. See you then.
Keep it locked,
- Posted on 11/29/2010 by Mary
I'm reading about the 2010 TeenNick HALO Award honorees and am totally in awe of what they're doing with their time and energy... working to heal the broken foster care system, keeping attention flowing toward Haiti, running a pageant for girls with disabilities, and fighting for the human rights of child slaves.
When I read about them, the second thing that pops into my head (the first being: "I need a tissue and I want to hug that person") is: "Where do they find the time? And the energy? To be doing normal school loads AND finding time for all those meetings and phone calls and effort?" Because I think we all care about improving the world; when we hear the stories of people who need help we all want to help...
But the thing I loved about the HALO Awards last year is how, once you see the whole show and really get to know the honorees, you realize they're really not that different from you or me. They're not superhuman -- they're just somehow getting it done.
I think all of us have the potential -- you know how sometimes you're doing something you love and it just puts you in the zone? And you have all of this attention for it and time for it because it feeds your soul in some way?
I think if we're lucky, we can all find our calling, like the HALO honorees did. The thing that feeds our soul so much, that spending lots of time on it doesn't seem to be a big deal.
- Posted on 11/10/2010 by Chairman Nick Cannon
Hey y'all, Chairman Nick here! We're coming up on year two of my favorite awards show, and I couldn't be prouder. Last year, we flipped the script by getting celebrities to give awards to deserving teens. Our honorees Megan, Darrius, Brryan and Leah inspired us all to do great things with our lives, our abilities, and our voices.
And this year, we're doing it again just as big. If not bigger. Because HALO is more than an awards show... it's a movement.
When I say "a movement," I don't mean people will see the HALO Awards and be like, "If I volunteer, maybe I'll get to meet Justin Timberlake!"
What I mean is... I wanted us all to be reminded of our potential. How much we can do with our time and energy. How powerful our optimism can be. There's power in numbers, and this generation knows it better than any other generation in history. You were raised with the Internet; you were raised with a sense of how interconnected we all are. So it's up to you to light the way for the rest of the world.
You're going to be amazed when you meet this year's four new honorees. I get awestruck every time I think about them, and I grin ear to ear when I think about them getting the recognition and rewards they deserve. And we've got another no-joke lineup of celebrity presenters taking part, too -- I'm so grateful to them. It's gonna be a big night. December 10!
- Chairman Nick
- Posted on 06/06/2010 by Mary
I know that end-of-the-year locker and desk clean-out time can tend to be more of a euphoric, GET THIS CRAP INTO A TRASH CAN AND OUT OF MY LIFE, STAT type situation. But!
Here's something awesome you could do.
If you take a clean cardboard box and go around asking people if they have any clean, un-used school supplies that they were going to just throw out, you could make a difference for someone who needs it (and keep people from throwing perfectly good trees and such into the trash -- or even the recycling bin).
HALO Award winner Darrius Snow told us that the TEAM Foundation Back2School project hopes to "provide school supplies to returning elementary, middle and high school students who can't afford to buy those things." They're reaching out to schools in Georgia and South Carolina, but they'd also "appreciate whatever donation the public can give to help these kids go back to school. The students [who receive your items] will be motivated if they discover the public is interested in their education."
You can mail clean, unused school supplies to:
906 Plainville Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30331.
Or, if you want to collect money instead, you can write checks out to "Essential 2 Life/TeamFoundation" and mail them to the same address.
"Thank you so much for the kind gesture," says Darrius. Thank YOU so much, Darrius.
- Posted on 04/22/2010 by Megan Kilroy
Hey everyone, Happy Earth Day! Today is actually the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which just makes me wonder: what will our oceans look like 40 years from today?
Right now, every single ocean on the planet is becoming a plastic soup. In fact, in 2008, The Algalita Marine Research Foundation found six times as much plastic in the ocean as zooplankton. Let's talk about what that means:
Why is plastic in the ocean a problem?
- Sea birds such as the albatross often mistake plastic for food and regurgitate the plastic into their baby chicks mouths. As a result these birds die of starvation because, while they think they are full, their stomachs are simply full of plastic.
- Other animals such as fur seals often get entangled in floating plastic. The plastic does not break and eventually severs the seals arteries or strangles it.
- Plastic is not biodegradable. The pieces get smaller when they're in the ocean, but they don't go away.
- Most of the plastic that ends up on the street eventually makes its way to the beach. The majority of municipal storm drain systems are unfiltered and lead into the ocean -- even if you don't live near the ocean.
- Manufacturers of plastic are not always responsible in the ways that they handle and/or dispose of their products. The nurdeles (the small pellets that are used to produce plastic) are often dropped carelessly in transport and end up in the marine environment.
- Instead of getting a plastic bag when you go to the store, bring a reusable bag.
- Save money and plastic by filling up a reusable canteen instead of buying water bottles.
- When you get a drink, don't use a straw unless you absolutely need one.
- If you do use single-use plastic, always remember to recycle it and make sure it never ends up in the street.
Thanks and have a great Earth Day, everyone!
- Megan Kilroy
Megan Kilroy is a 2009 TeenNick HALO Award winner. See what she's been up to since then, nominate someone for a HALO, or find a great organization to volunteer with yourself on our HALO Awards site. - TeenNick
- Posted on 04/19/2010 by The-Earth
Hey guys, remember me? It's the Earth! Want to help me celebrate another Earth Day on Thursday? I really hope you do because I could definitely use the help.
Speaking of help, have you guys seen how busy Megan Kilroy has been since she won a TeenNick HALO Award for all her work on my behalf last year? That girl is going to the next level -- now she's educating the next generation about keeping my oceans from becoming "plastic soup." And she's helping to build a solar-powered plug-in VW Beetle, too! I'm so, so lucky to count Megan as one of my friends.
I looked up some of the Earth Day resolutions you guys made last year... I know it's probably too much to hope for a couple billion Megan Kilroys walking around on me, but a couple billion tangledxups, xxViixens, and DianaxGs seems within reach!
"My resolution is to stop buying about 2 plastic water bottles a day at school and get a reusable one that I can fill up at drinking fountains when I'm thirsty. Because it's costing me/my mom way more money than necessary and even though I recycle the empty bottles, spending 5 dollars on a good, recycled materials, reusable one is way smarter. " - tangledxup
"i will start riding my bike to the store, to see friends, and sometimes to work. I know i can do it." - xxViixen
"I'll turn the tv off if I'm not using it, and turn my light off when i leave the room." - DianaxG
Thanks for all your help, guys. It means the world to me. :)