Blog | denzel thompson
- Posted on 02/28/2014 by Rachel1016
Hands down, one of the coolest parts of the TeenNick HALO Awards is getting to see the inspiring work our honorees continue to do, as well as the much-deserved accolades they continue to receive.
Back in November, we recognized 19-year-old Denzel Thompson for his dedication to the Philadelphia Urban Creators, a non-profit that has transformed his community's many abandoned lots into flourishing, youth-led urban gardens. Denzel's remarkable efforts have helped a community blemished with unused and neglected land become an area of promise. His commitment to urban agriculture has fostered better nutrition, job opportunities, helped local businesses, and provided a means for young people to truly make a difference.
It's no surprise that we're not the only ones to salute Denzel for a job well done! This month, The Root (an online African American cutlure magazine) name Denzel was one of its 2014 Young Futurists, a terrifically high honor that applauds 25 of the most influential African Americans for their contributions to the arts, business, social justice, and, in Denzel's case, the environment.
Each year during Black History Month, The Root celebrates the legacy of African Americans who have paved the way for future generations, but with the Young Futurists initiative, they applaud the young people within those future generations who are emerging leaders in their own right. Denzel keeps amazing company with his Young Futurist colleagues, all ages 16-22, whose stories are just as inspiring as his. Congratulations, Denzel, we are so happy to see your do-gooding get the recognition it deserves!
It's our mission to keep the spirit of the HALO Awards going, so if you or someone you know is going a great job helping others, be sure to nominate them for our monthly HALO Effect honors right here!
- Posted on 11/17/2013 by Rachel1016
And that's a wrap on the 2013 HALO Awards, folks! Do-gooding was in full force at the Hollywood Palladium tonight as we gathered celebrities to recognize our four amazing honorees: Denzel Thompson, Miranda Fuentes, Rocio Ortega, and Zachary Kerr. It was an evening full of heartwarming stories, some BIG surprises, and a few unforgettable musical performances.
Words fail to describe just how inspiring the 2013 HALO Awards were, so we GIFfed tonight's most memorable moments. Here are our favorite highlights from the 2013 HALO Awards!
Fans rejoiced in the sweet sounds of Fall Out Boy.
Lil P-Nut tried to steal the show with this freestyle chops.
The audience became human glowsticks. (And it looked AWESOME.)
Honoree Rocio Ortega flashed her pearly whites at the camera.
Honoree Denzel Thompson's words of wisdom echoed through the arena.
Austin Mahone melted some hearts. Naturally.
Shay Mitchell hugged it out with honoree Miranda Fuentes!
Miranda inspired us all with her speech.
Co-hosts Kevin Jonas and Jennette McCurdy hammed it up on stage.
Our amazing honorees made Daniella Monet cry.
We totally surprised our honoree, Zachary Kerr.
Then we surprised ALL of our honorees with a little more $$$ for their education!
And finally, Enrique Iglesias stared into our souls as he closed out the show.
Thank you for sharing this feel-good night with us! If you missed the live airing of the show, be sure to check out a special TeenNick encore Monday at 9pm ET!
- Posted on 11/11/2013 by Rachel1016
Meet Denzel Austin Thompson: The co-founder of Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC), a youth-led organization that grows sustainable and healthy food in urban gardens. Growing up in North Philadelphia where a childhood obesity epidemic plagued the well-being of his community, Denzel was inspired to make a grassroots change (no pun intended!).
After a service trip to New Orleans in which Denzel helped build greenhouses and transform vacant lands into urban gardens, he decided to bring organic farming back to his own neighborhood. Four years later, the Philadelphia Urban Creators and its loyal volunteers successfully cultivate sustainable gardens rife with fresh, healthy produce! We caught up with Denzel to learn more about his organization and hear about his giveback experience with Queen Latifah!
From seed to plant, PUC's sustainable gardens grow a large variety of produce, including veggies, fruit, and micro greens (think: SUPER healthy stuff like wheatgrass). When we asked Denzel to pick a favorite, however, he was quick to single out a tapered fruit called Tabasco peppers. (If you've ever heard of Tabasco Sauce, you'll know that the peppers can be pretty hot. But Denzel insists that he loves to eat of the vine!)
Much of the food that PUC grows is sold in local farmers markets or distributed to local restaurants. PUC either funds that money directly back into the community, or uses it to support the project itself. Interesting enough, Denzel noted that when PUC was is its early stages, community outreach was one of his biggest challenges. With hard work and persistence, however, members of the community began to grasp the concept and benefits of urban gardens, and Denzel proved that his was a cause worth supporting.
When we asked Denzel about his giveback experience with Queen Latfiah, he said he was completely surprised. "Everyone tricked me that day," he said. "It was really great and inspiring. [The experience] made me want to push myself harder and have faith in what I'm doing."
Finally, asked Denzel to share a few important tips for anyone who might want to start their own garden! Here's what we gathered:
1. Develop a core group of dedicated people with diverse skills and ideas.
2. Determine your role. For example, if you enjoy planting and growing, you might be the urban farmer!
3. Choose an area for your garden. It can either be a backyard or a plot of land. If there is an area that might need immediate assistance, such as a food desert, that's the best place to start!
4. Canvas. It's important to reach out to your neighborhood and community for support before you begin any physical planting. The more people who know about your project, the better!
There you have it, TeenNick fans! Check back here all week to learn more about our amazing honorees and how they're changing the world. And don't miss the 2013 HALO Awards on Sunday, November 17th at 8PM ET!