- Posted on 02/04/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
This season on Open Heart, Dylan starts her investigation to find out what truly happened to her father. With the help of some friends, she searches for clues in and around Open Heart Memorial and uncovers other mysteries along the way. Every week, we'll recap each episode's findings to keep you in the loop until Dylan uncovers the truth.
- Posted on 02/03/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
Have you ever heard of STEM? Do you know what it stands for? Do you know what kind of impact it will have on the future of education?
15 year-old Stanley Celestine is a champion of the STEM curriculum. A fervent advocate for giving STEM subjects the focus and attention they deserve, Stanley founded WETEACHSTEM, an educational program in his hometown of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. We caught up with our HALO Effect honoree for the month of February to learn more about his vision and what STEM is really all about.
Can you explain 'STEM' to those who might not know what it stands for?
STEM is an acronym referring to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I've considered STEM to be a multi-disciplined approached to teaching and learning that integrates science, technology, engineering & mathematics, with the objective of strengthening problem solving skills and curiosity. One unique thing about STEM is rather than approaching these disciplines as separate subjects, STEM requires a partnership from students, teachers, and parents to think about how these disciplines work together.
Why do you think STEM is so important in school curricula? What would you say to someone who thinks of himself/herself as "more of an English and History" person?
Our society is becoming more STEM-focused each and every day. Students will need to have experiences and exposure to a variety of STEM topics in order to survive. Research has shown that American students are performing below other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I believe that students should be exposed to STEM in elementary school. This lays a foundation for later success and exposure at a young age will increase proficiency and interest in STEM subjects. Implementing a STEM curricula also allows students to become problem solvers and collaborate with peers. For someone who's more of an English or History person, I would strongly recommend to research how that particular subject relates to STEM.
WETEACHSTEM offers several different programs � which one is your favorite?
My favorite WETEACHSTEM Program is our STEM Education Program. This program has a huge impact on student's attitude and achievement in the areas of mathematics and science. This program also addresses a national issue facing our country. When I developed this program the goal of it was to improve the recruitment and preparation of African Americans and other minority students, particularly women through participation in STEM Enrichment Workshops that improve students' knowledge in a variety of STEM areas.
As a student, do you feel like you bring a unique perspective when working with members of the school board? How have you made your vision clear?
Yes, there is a common core value that recognizes WETEACHSTEM as a resource for schools, families, and the community. The school board acknowledges both the need and desire to maintain this partnership in the face of changes in the nature of families, the workforce and societal expectations for schools. I've made my vision clear by presenting research based presentations and relating my experiences with programs similar to WETEACHSTEM to school board officials.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences with WeTeachSTEM thus far?
Building long-lasting, caring relationships with youth, families, and members of the community.
To learn more about Stanley and his organization, check out this video below!
- Posted on 01/29/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
Want to know everything Dylan knows? Want to follow along with her investigation in real time and get an exclusive glimpse inside her phone? Download the Open Heart: Unlocked App and follow the clues as she searches for her missing father.
Open Heart: Unlocked allows you access to Dylan's personal life and ongoing investigation by unlocking images, videos, blog posts and text messages on her phone. Unravel the story as it unravels in Dylan's world.
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- Posted on 01/23/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
If you haven't heard of Ella Henderson, chances are you've heard her hit song. "Ghost" — the one with the ear-wormy line, "I keep going to the river to pray..." — is a soulful, stomping pop tune that combines the driving power of Adele with the honeyed vocal tricks of Leona Lewis. The chart-topping single is basically a microscopic representation of Ella's immense talent, so you better believe there's more where that came from with this pop diva.
Ella's debut album Chapter One was released roughly two years after her time on X-Factor UK. It recently charted at #11 on the Billboard 200, proving her undeniable transformation from contestant to star-in-the-making. We sat down with our brand-new Fresh Artist to hear more about her life, her career so far and... oh, something about dolphin noises? Check it out below!
1. The lyrics in "Ghost" are pretty metaphorical. What does "ghost" in this song refer to?
When I wrote this song is was at a time when I'd spent almost 2 years writing the album but I still didn't feel like I'd found my first single. People were telling me that when you have your first single you know, you just have that gut feeling; and I was frustrated that I hadn't had that yet. Ghost is about that something or someone that is 'haunting' you; you can't eat, you can't sleep, it's tormenting your mind and you can't get rid of it. The thing I love about Ghost is that it means different things to different people, but regardless of what your personal 'Ghost' is, it's a feeling everyone can relate to in some way.
2. What is the best advice you've ever received or the single most important lesson you've learned about the music industry?
To be yourself, stay true to who you are and to work hard. And most importantly to enjoy it.
3. What was one of your most memorable moments as a contestant on X Factor?
My first arena audition. I was so nervous! I always said I was never going to cry on TV but getting a standing ovation from the judges and the audience was so overwhelming and unexpected. Having praise from the judges I think it was the first time I started to really believe in myself.
4. When you need a breather from your crazy life, what do you like to do to relax?
When I have a day off I love to spend it with my family and close friends and do 'normal' things like going to the cinema and walking my dog!
5. Do you have any pre-show rituals or interesting warm-ups you do before you perform?
I make a weird dolphin noise before I go on stage! I have a fear that my voice will give out when I open my mouth so by doing it offstage it means I don't wobble later.
6. What is one moment in your career so far that has made you wonder, "How did I get here?"
I remember shooting my first music video for Ghost and being out in New Orleans in this amazing location with a whole team of people around me, all there for my video. That was definitely a big pinch me moment! But I have pinch me moments almost daily! I feel so lucky to be doing the job I've always dreamt of. To be out in America performing and releasing my album over here is surreal!
If you want to catch more of Ella, head over to the TeenNick Top 10 page! And don't forget to tune in tonight at 10pm ET!
- Posted on 01/14/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
Holy winter finale, Degrassians. Can you believe the first chapter of Season 14 has come to a close? We're only pushing pause of Degrassi for a bit, but it's a probably a good thing since the Winter Finale is a going to take a minute to digest. Are you ready to recap?
THESE ARE MY CONFESSIONS
Zoë did everything she could to keep the Power Cheer squad together, despite the fact that they found out she started the fake FaceRange page about Frankie. Zoë reminded them that they were so close to making nationals, and, of course, that she was only trying to protect them. It would all be worth it, she promised.
When it seemed like she had gotten their forgiveness, Zoë left the gym to meet up with Zig. But when she got to their meeting place, she realized she had been tricked. Frankie and Winston locked her in the room and tried to get her to admit to everything.
But then the fire started. And as the smoke billowed, the real talk began. Frankie called Zoë out for everything she had done: "You're a bully," she said. And the Power Cheer girls? "The only reason they stuck around so long is because they're worried about going to jail." She warned Zoë that if she didn't come clean -- that if she wasn't honest for once -- she would ruin her friends' lives.
After Zoë escaped the fire, Zig found her outside. Wondering why she didn't compete, Zig asked Zoë if she was OK. "No, but I will be after I take care of something," she replied. Was it finally time for Zoë to humble herself? Right then, she approached a police officer and said, "There's something I need to tell you."
Let the rain fall down, I'm coming...
YOU THERE, ECLARE?
Imogen spilled the beans about Eli actually being the father of Clare's baby. Eli's attitude toward Clare completely changed with this information and he rushed to be by her side.
At first, Clare wasn't too quick to forgive Eli's recent erratic behavior: He punched Drew, called her names, and condemned her for their situation. His recent change of heart wasn't enough. "I don't feel like I can trust you," she said.
But then Eli wasn't going down without a fight. He insisted that he was capable of loving and helping care for their child. He was the father, after all, so Clare decided to give him a chance.
Eclare, how we've missed you.
EVERYTHING AND NOTHING
After another heated argument, Mr. Hollingsworth got physical with Miles again. This time, he hit him. When Miles told his mom about it, she was convinced there must be a logical explanation: Had Miles provoked him? Who actually started the fight? They had been at each other for months. Realizing he wouldn't get the support of his mom, Miles decided to take the matter into his own hands.
He confronted his dad and laid it all out: He told him he was a horrible father and that he used his children as props and lashed out anytime they as much as sidestepped perfection. Mr. H. fired back with anger in his eyes and animosity in his voice. And when it got heated, Miles drew a punch: "Do it," his father said. But Miles couldn't.
Feeling helpless, Miles wrote a goodbye letter to his siblings. He felt like there was nothing left to do but leave, and when he saw Maya at Degrassi, he asked her to pass along the message. But when Miles spotted a display for his dad's campaign, he took one the flyers and set it on fire. Almost immediately, the fire started to spread.
You know what happens in between, but once the Hollingsworth siblings had escaped the fire safely, Mr. H. arrived at the school to pick them up. He didn't seem concerned that his kids' lives were in danger, just that they had once again skirted their campaign responsibilities. How devastating that even after his shocking and unconscionable actions, Mr. H. reacted this way.
The three siblings realized they had to stick together against their dad. And they did.
Whew, there is a lot to look forward to this spring. But in the meantime, what did you think of the Degrassi winter finale? Will Zoë actually be able to redeem herself? Is Eclare back for real? What is next for Miles and his siblings? Let us know in the comments.
This episode deals with a very serious topic. 1 in 10 children in this country experience child abuse and neglect. If you or anyone you know has experienced abuse, you are not alone and there is help available. Call the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit www.childhelp.org for more information.
- Posted on 01/09/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
You know those voices that come along every once in a while? Those totally arresting, chilling vocal pipes that can take any one song and transform it into something that, really, no one else could match? Well, if you can't remember the last time you were truly blown away by a top-notch singer, meet Jacquie Lee.
Our newest Fresh Artist made a name for herself on NBC's The Voice, but is poised to break out in her own right. Already a proven cover QUEEN (have you seen her cover of Sia's "Chandelier"? Or Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie"?), Jacquie is now making a name for herself as a talented and focused singer-songwriter. Learn more about this powerhouse performer in our exclusive interview below!
1. What was some of the best advice that your coach Christina Aguilera gave you on The Voice?
Journal! It helps you stay grounded and remains constant in your life when everything is changing.
2. As one of the younger contestants on the show, you were known for your unique ability to emote and really express yourself with your voice. How do you connect with music you perform?
Well CeeLo says I swallowed an old lady but I don't think that's the case... Unless she snuck in there while I was sleeping. My connection with the music I sing comes from a place deep inside of me. It comes from my heart, my gut and my soul. I'm just lucky and look at it as a gift.
3. Your breakout song "Broken Ones" has such a relatable message. What was the inspiration behind it? Why did you choose that particular subject?
It's something that needed to be said! Everyone has their insecurities and demons they face on a daily basis and they shouldn't be scared or feel alone. Music is one way to never have to feel alone.
4. Having gotten your start singing covers, was it important for you to establish yourself as a writer and artist?
So glad this question was asked. It's so important for me to establish myself as Jacquie lee rather than "that chick from The Voice." I want people to see me as what I am, and everything that is happening post voice is truly a blessing. Getting signed to Atlantic records with supporters like Lyor Cohen and Julie Greenwald is truly unbelievable and makes me work even harder.
5. What is one of the most star-struck moments you've had since being on The Voice?
Since then, it was probably opening for Christina Perri at her Fresh In The Park concert. It was surreal, and meeting fans after the concert was fun.
6. What is one thing that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I am very athletic. I dislike working out so I get the majority of my exercise from playing flag football.
7. What's next for you and your career?
More music, fun, laughs and work. I will work until I get to where I want to be.
If you want to catch more of Jacquie Lee, head over to the TeenNick Top 10 page! And don't forget to tune in tonight at 10pm ET!
- Posted on 01/07/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
It's hard to believe there's only one episode left in this chapter of Degrassi, but if last night's momentous showing was any indication, there's still plenty of drama to go around. If you haven't seen "Firestarter, Part 1" yet, watch it online and then catch up in our recap below!
BET ON YOU
Tiny and Zig competed for the attention of a visiting cheerleader in a bet that would require the loser to dress up in uniform and perform a cheer at the school. After a minor juice spilling incident, Zig happened to be the one to catch the cheerleader's attention.
But when the cheerleader slighted Zoë and Degrassi's cheer squad for sending nude pictures, Zig went on the defensive: "You have no idea what she's been through," he said.
So, Zig stuck up for Zoë. And lost the bet on purpose... for Zoe?
Well, well, well. When Zoë found out that Zig lost a bet sticking up for her, she even opened up to the idea of giving him a chance. Take two for Zoëmund?
A BETTER LIFE
At a PTA meeting, Becky's mom publicly insulted Clare for being pregnant. Clare was ashamed and worried that people would start viewing her as a trashy teen mom (she even made a jab at Jenna, who was in that position not too long ago). But Principal Simpson approached Clare to tell her that his wife was actually a teen mom, and that she had a wonderful life despite the unexpected circumstances: "You can still be a teen mom and have a great life," he said.
So Clare decided she needed to take her life into her own hands (not just because of that frightening dream where she was married to Principal Simpson). She would follow her dreams and go to college, no matter what.
Frankie worried that her involvement in the Degrassi Nudes scandal would surface and put her dad's campaign in jeopardy. She decided that the only way to cover her tracks would be to get Zoë to take the blame for orchestrating the whole scheme.
But when Winston showed Frankie a FaceRange page that exposed her as the mastermind behind the whole thing, she also discovered that he was the blackmailer. No, he didn't create the FaceRange page (Zoë did -- surprise, surprise), but he was the person who brought the entire scandal to light. And Frankie was upset.
When Frankie confronted Zoë about the page, Zoë admitted to sending her down the river because she knew Frankie wouldn't have to deal with whatever consequences would ensue: Frankie's father would bail her out and erase the whole scandal, whereas Zoë would have to relive the dreadful past in the press and at school.
Unfortunately for Frankie, though, that didn't exactly happen. At Mr. H's campaign event, a reporter exposed her as the #Oomfchat ringleader long before Frankie had a chance to do damage control. When she came clean that she was involved, Frankie's dad, in typical Mr. H fashion, put the campaign first: He instructed Frankie to lie and take the full blame, with the hopes that the press would see him as a father taking control of the situation. Ugh. Le sigh times ten.
Devastated, Frankie decided that Zoë had to pay once and for all. ...What could she have up her sleeve?
Degrassi Winter Finale, here we come. Will Frankie really seek revenge on Zoë? Will Clare make more plans for her baby? Will Zoëmund actually give it a shot? Comments: GO!
- Posted on 01/07/2015 by TeenNickBlogger
Welcome to Halo Effect 2015, TeenNick do-gooders! This year, we resolve to make the world a better place, and what better way to get inspired than to take a look at the awesome work of our HALO Effect honorees?
This month's honoree is a girl who has combined her love of reading with her passion for giving back. Sarah Dewitz, a fifteen-year-old Florida native founded the charity Just 1 Book. We caught up with Sarah to learn more about her amazing work. Check out our exclusive interview below!
What inspired you to begin 'Just 1 Book'? Why did you choose to focus your charity on books?
One day I was sitting at my kitchen table and my mom handed me a newspaper article. I read the article and found the information quite disturbing but also very interesting. The article talked about a specific area not too far from where I live and how the residents living there were having a difficult time affording things like their electric bill. If someone can't afford their electric bill, they probably can't afford books in their home. I love to read and couldn't imagine my life without books. I also knew about the correlation between low literacy rates and poverty. I knew I had to help in one way or another. Thus, Just 1 Book was born.
What do you think is the secret to success with your organization? How is 'Just 1 Book' unique compared to other charities?
I believe that the secret to success for Just 1 Book is a combination of my love for reading, my love for community service, and my love for helping others in need. There are several things that make my charity unique. One of them is that I was only 10 years old when I became a philanthropist. Another is that it combines two of my passions, reading and going green, into one cause that many people support. Just 1 Book is eco-friendly by reusing books instead of having people throw them away to rot in landfills.
What is your favorite book and why?
I don't have a favorite book in particular. To me, my favorite book is always the one that I have in my hands. I do enjoy mysteries and horror books though. I'm not one for romantic novels either, but if you hand me a good love story, I'll devour it.
Having started your organization at 10 years old, what advice would you give to other young people who want to make a difference in their community, but may not feel they have the power or resources to do so?
I've always said to other young people that if they have a thought that helps other people, there is no way it could be a bad idea. The only requirement is that they must be passionate about their cause. If the child would like to start their own charity but doesn't know what kind, I suggest doing volunteer work at some other great organizations to help them find their niche in the community service world. If a student does have a cause they are passionate about, I say go for it! Naturally, there are going to be people who will disagree with an idea. I went through the same thing when Just 1 Book was first starting. My initial proposal was already accepted by my principal, yet I would get teased for being "dorky" and wanting to help people in need. Now, I understand that at the age of 10 years old, my thought was very far from being na�ve. But these harsh words never fazed me because I knew that my idea was a good one. And my instincts proved to be true.
What are J1B's plans for the future?
I would like for Just 1 Book to reach nationwide status in the future. It is impossible to know how long this will take, but it is my hope and faith that this goal will be achieved. I would also like to have numerous bookmobiles reaching out to kids in their neighborhoods, leaving them with a book in their hand and a smile on their face.
To learn more about Sarah and her organization, check out this video below!
- Posted on 12/31/2014 by TeenNickBlogger
They say what goes around comes around� but you don't always see it coming. Last night's Degrassi was all about bad karma, and we're here to recap every fateful detail. If you haven't seen "Hero vs. Villain" yet, watch it online and then join the conversation below!
SAYONARA, MILES HOLLINGSWORTH
After last week's failed intervention, Tristan was determined to patch things up with Miles. It had been three loooong days, and it was time to kiss and make up.
But when Tristan caught Miles staring at Maya from across the hall, he realized that the intervention wasn't what pushed him away. Miles still had feelings for his ex-girlfriend.
A heartbroken Tristan confronted Miles and gave him a piece of his mind. He was done being a victim of Miles' fickle heart. And he was done with Miles.
Shot to the feels, #Triles shippers! When Tristan and Miles were good, they were great, but was this relationship doomed from the start? Even Tristan himself questioned Miles intentions from the get-go, right? Sure, it's hard to lay blame since Miles is going through a very trying time, but maybe he's just reckless when it comes to love...
AN HONEST MISTAKE
When Clare found out that her baby was actually Eli's not Drew's, she struggled to find the right way to break the news to both boys. She confided in Alli, who urged her to come clean as soon as possible, but Clare insisted that she needed time to think.
Alli let the news slip to Dallas, who felt obligated to tell Drew. And, oy vey, Drew furiously confronted Clare in the middle of the hall and yelled at her for making such a huge mistake. In fact, he was incredulous about the whole situation: How could she not know who the father was? How could she let him give up everything for her?
Drew obviously has a point, but, man, Clare's tears were real. It really was an honest mistake (albeit a big one) and Clare never meant to mislead Drew. �Right? What do you think? Did Drew overreact?
Clare went to the Dot to tell Eli the truth before he heard it from anyone else. She hoped that Eli might react the news a little differently, but he didn't even give her a chance to get it out. Still clearly heartbroken, he condemned Clare for ruining their future and even shamed her for her actions. Little did he know, he was attacking the mother of his child.
So, not the best week for Clare. Do you think Eli will come around once he find out? Or is this a hurdle just too high to jump?
Since Principal Simpson found out about Degrassi Nudes, he approached the Power Cheer team to see if they had any information. Zoe, who was at first taken aback, put on her best acting face and played dumb. Then she exploited her past experience to cover it up even more: "I'd like to speak at the assembly," she said. "As you might recall, I have some personal experience with the distribution of naked photos." Simpson ate it up.
She may have put on a brave face in front of the principal, but word was spreading and Zoe needed to act fast. She soon enough found out that Hunter wasn't actually the Degrassi Nudes blackmailer and realized there was only one other person it could be... Frankie.
But here's where it gets mental. In order to make sure Frankie didn't go public, Zoe tricked her into thinking she was invited back on the team. She then snapped a topless photo of her in the locker room as insurance. ...Ksjdfhskdjfh. ZOE.
Frankie was upset, confused and had no idea why Zoe would do such a thing. "Whatever you think I did, it's not me," she said. Did Zoe have the wrong person again? Could this thing spiral out of control anymore?
Apparently, it could. At the assembly, Zoe made her convincing remarks about the emotional cost of distributing nude images online -- she thought she nailed it. She deflected attention off the Power Cheer squad and, in a moment of honesty and remorse, even decided to delete Frankie's photo. But that's when she realized it was time to face her comeuppance: The real blackmailer just exposed her to the whole school.
What are your thoughts on this episode, Degrassians? What do you think will happen next week? Get your theories going in the comments!
- Posted on 12/24/2014 by TeenNickBlogger
We'll chalk it up to all those chestnuts roasting, but the Degrassi drama was hot like fiyah last night! Jack and Imogen navigated another more serious rough patch, Maya and Miles bonded over a lie, and Clare found out some big news about her baby. Major spoilers below, peeps, so if you haven't seen "Something's Got to Give" yet, watch it online before reading our recap!
THIS STUFF MATTERS
Imogen found out about Degrassi Nudes and knew it was DTV story waiting to happen. Disgusted, she decided to get to the bottom of it: "Women get exploited enough by the rest of the world," she said. "We shouldn't be doing this to ourselves." Jack wasn't too thrilled at the idea since she and the Power Cheer squad were the ones embroiled in the whole scheme, but Imogen wasn't going to back down.
She let her plan slip to Principal Simpson, who said it was a matter for police. And eventually, Jack confessed to Imogen that she was involved in the whole ordeal. Not only did Imogen explain how big a deal it was selling your body for money, she was devastated that Jack cheated on her.
After Imogen toyed with the idea of getting back at Jack by sending nude pics herself, she confronted her about the situation. "The personal is political," Imogen said. "This stuff matters to the world." Jack said she didn't care about the larger issue of sending topless selfies; she only cared about whether or not she hurt Imogen.
And Imogen accepted her apology.
Okay. So, good things: Imogen and Jack patched things up. Not so good things: Does it feel like Jack is missing the bigger issue here? Is Imogen letting her feelings for Jack eclipse the fact that she was a part of something really serious? ...Something that has implications far beyond their relationship? This isn't the end of the #oomfCHAT saga, and we're hoping to get more clarity soon.
NEED SOME HELP
After Maya and Miles' accident, Maya overheard Dallas saying that it was his car that was hit. Miles had been high when the accident happened and Maya agreed to flee the scene because she knew that if Miles got a DUI, his father would lash out.
But when Mr. Hollingsworth saw the damaged car in their garage, Maya panicked and told him that they were the ones who got hit. Miles agreed to the story, and pretty soon they were lying to police about a hit-and-run that didn't exactly happen as they remembered it.
Maya became paranoid about getting caught in a lie, but Miles didn't seem quite as concerned. In fact, he got high during school and blurted out to Dallas (with questionable word choice and little remorse) what really happened.
Dallas fought the urge to get physical, but ultimately handled it with his words. Miles and Maya realized they had come to clean to the cops and face their parents.
Once they came clean, neither Maya nor Miles were charged. But it remains to be seen how Mr. Hollingsworth will handle his disappointment. It might be easy to strike another tally in Miles' long list of missteps, but there's more at play here... and Miles' relationship with his father has much to do with it.
I'M SORRY, MS. BAKER
Drew wanted to make a good first impression when meeting Grandma Baker for the first time. He complimented her key lime pie, knew the names of each of her beloved dogs� and accidently revealed that he had a baby on the way. Woooooooops.
Unsurprisingly, Becky was pretty upset that he embarrassed her in front of her very conservative grandmother.
And Drew realized that he was once again caught between Becky and Clare. The pregnancy situation was proving to be a distraction he just couldn't ignore, so Drew decided he had to break up with Becky. The baby had to come first and he couldn't keep disappointing her.
Now that Drew was committed to Clare and their baby, he joined her for their next doctor's appointment. After finding out that everything was healthy and that they were having a boy (who would be named Adam, of course!!!), Drew let Clare finish the rest of her appointment in private. But when the nurse told Clare she was farther along than she thought, Clare realized something completely game-changing.
The baby might not be� Drew's?
Holy TWIST! Did you guys see that coming? What do you think will happen now? There is much to discuss this week, so the floor is yours!