Blog | denzel thompson

  • Happy Earth Day! Celebrate With HALO + Throwback Degrassi

    Posted on 04/22/2014 by Rachel1016

    Earth Day

    Happy Earth Day, everybody! The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and Mother Earth is waking from its winter slumber! Every year on April 22, Earth Day comes around to remind us how important it is to protect our precious planet. And now that spring is in full swing, what better way to celebrate the all of the beautiful things this world has to offer than by making a difference? Here are five easy ways to celebrate Earth Day every day!


    1. Check your Earth-saving skills: Are you doing good for the environment or are you leaving a Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint? Take our two quizzes 'How Green Are You?' and 'How Will You Save the Planet?' to find out!

    2. Recycle your old electronics: Did you know that your old cell phone or digital camera can be reused to make important materials? Don't just throw them away, take your old or unused electronics to an e-waste recycling facility. E-waste can be extremely harmful to landfills, so it's important that your unused devices get discarded properly!

    3. Take shorter showers: Don't get us wrong, we like leisurely showers as much as the next person. But does it really take 20 minutes to lather, rinse and repeat? Set a timer for your next shower and see if you can beat the clock! You'll waste less water and your fingers wont get pruny!

    4. Pledge an 'Act of Green': Register with Earth Day Network's 'A Billion Acts of Green' campaign to make a contribution (large or small!) to supporting sustainability efforts. Whether its recycling your crayons or planting a garden, there are a billion ways to take action!

    5. Go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors: Take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature in all its glory. Find a park and take a stroll or have a picnic; go for a bike ride and explore your own neighborhood; literally stop to smell the roses! Whatever you do, just go outside!

    And if you want to really be inspired to make a change, check out the amazing work of two of our former HALO Award winners. Megan Kilroy is a 2009 HALO Award honoree who makes a difference by cleaning up beaches in her hometown. And Denzel Thompson transforms dilapidated lands in his community by planting urban gardens!

    There are so many ways to Help And Lead Others to environmental activism, and maybe you or someone you know already works hard to protect our planet. Nominate them to be recognized by the HALO Effect, and make their impact known!

    Finally, get in the green spirit with these awesome throwback Degrassi clips! Remember when Jake and Katie bonded over planting a garden? Or when Emma tried to get Sean to help her pick up garbage at the ravine? Check 'em out below!




    What are some of your Earth Day resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

  • HALO Awards: Denzel Thompson Honored as a 2014 Young Futurist

    Posted on 02/28/2014 by Rachel1016

    Denzel Thompson

    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!

  • 2013 HALO Awards: GIFfable Highlights From The Show!

    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!

    HALO Awards 2013
    Fans rejoiced in the sweet sounds of Fall Out Boy.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Lil P-Nut tried to steal the show with this freestyle chops.

    HALO Awards 2013
    The audience became human glowsticks. (And it looked AWESOME.)

    HALO Awards 2013
    Honoree Rocio Ortega flashed her pearly whites at the camera.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Honoree Denzel Thompson's words of wisdom echoed through the arena.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Austin Mahone melted some hearts. Naturally.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Shay Mitchell hugged it out with honoree Miranda Fuentes!

    HALO Awards 2013
    Miranda inspired us all with her speech.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Co-hosts Kevin Jonas and Jennette McCurdy hammed it up on stage.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Our amazing honorees made Daniella Monet cry.

    HALO Awards 2013
    We totally surprised our honoree, Zachary Kerr.

    HALO Awards 2013
    Then we surprised ALL of our honorees with a little more $$$ for their education!

    HALO Awards 2013
    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!

  • 2013 HALO Honoree: Denzel Thompson

    Posted on 11/11/2013 by Rachel1016

    HALO 2013: Denzel Thompson

    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!

    HALO 2013: Denzel Thompson

    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!)

    HALO 2013: Denzel Thompson

    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.

    HALO 2013: Denzel Thompson

    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."

    HALO 2013: Denzel Thompson

    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!