Blog | TeenNick Top 10
- Posted on 11/13/2013 by Rachel1016
Miranda Fuentes is a 16-year-old surfer girl who has a passion for working with children with autism, a brain developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and even physical health issues. A 2013 HALO honoree, Miranda has combined her love for the sport and dedication to advocacy by volunteering with an organization called Surfers For Autism (SFA). We got the chance to speak with Miranda to learn more about her involvement with Surfers For Autism and hear all about what it was like to meet Austin Mahone!
Surfers For Autism's states in its mission that the therapeutic benefits of surfing for children with special needs cannot be overestimated. Inspired by her younger brother Lucas who has autism himself, Miranda has dedicated her time over the past five years to bring these children to the waves. Through the spirit of surfing, she works to build their confidence, unlock their potential, and ultimately create a safe, fun-loving space for them to flourish.
As the youngest master instructor at Surfers For Autism, Miranda told us she takes roughly 150 participants surfing each year. "I like to work with the younger age groups," she said. "Our beginning age is four. The oldest I've worked with is 14 [years-old]." She explained how she enjoys teaching the basics of the sport to the younger kids who are learning the skills for the first time. And on top of instructing these young surfers, within a given season Miranda helps SFA organize surfing events roughly every two to three weeks. But when the off-season arrives, Miranda explained how they keep their surfers involved with out-of-water activities: "We have off-season concerts inland [that feature] local musicians." She also explained that these concerts are a great way to include families that may not live near the beach.
Austin Mahone surprised Miranda on the beach to tell her she would be honored at the HALO Awards, and here's what she had to say about it: "That was really cool. I was definitely in shock! I was really excited and very honored. He was on a fat tire bike and I didn't notice him coming from the side until he was a few feet away. Then I realized it was Austin Mahone!"
When we asked Miranda how she inspires others to HALO she said, "I just like to talk to my friends about [Surfers For Autism], and they tell their friends. I'm also in charge of the Instagram and Twitter for SFA. I like to tell them how SFA can change their lives. I show them pictures and invite them to events, and just watching the kids inspires them."
When she's not in the water or advocating for autism, Miranda is a beach-girl at heart. She enjoys playing in the sand, playing tag on the beach, and building sandcastles. Oh, and dare we forget, she also loves One Direction.
Don't miss Miranda and the other amazing honorees at the 2013 HALO Awards, this Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET!
- Posted on 11/12/2013 by Rachel1016
Rocio Ortega is a girl with a vision. A 2013 HALO Awards honoree, Rocio is an advocate for women's empowerment through her involvement with an awesome organization called GlobalGirl Media (GGM). She's a Los Angeles native, but brings her passion for new media, education, and service to the international stage. We caught up with Rocio to learn more about GGM and hear about her HALO giveback experience with Chris Paul!
GlobalGirl Media is a non-profit organization dedicated to training new media skills to girls around the world. Rocio explained how there are a lot of negative representations of women in the media today, a truth which GGM aims to dissolve. In her own words, "We figured the best way to change media is by actually giving the camera to a young girl and letting her tell her own story." The organization holds month-long workshops to teach girls how to film, edit, and produce their own content, but also how to develop their own voice. Through training sessions and guest lectures by female industry professionals, young girls become their own journalists, reporters, and news anchors.
Rocio was a part of the 2010 class and returns every summer to train young girls. When we asked her about her experience on the teaching side, she made it clear that the training extends far beyond learning how to open up a tripod. They begin with technical skills, such as learning how to operate a camera or use editing software, but expand into larger concepts, such as the importance of media ethics and how women uniquely, and importantly, fit into the mix. Rocio explained, "We combine different values and along the way [the girls] realize how it's such a strong tool for change. For the first time they are being introduced to the word 'feminism' and [the concept of] women's rights. At the end of every workshop they're always empowered to do more than they were before."
This past summer, Rocio participated in GlobalGirl Media's first-ever global summit in Chicago. GlobalGirls from South Africa, Morocco, Chicago and Los Angeles came together for the first time to not only complete a one-week intensive digital media training program, but also build relationships with similarly motivated, passionate girls around the world. One of the most moving things Rocio learned from the experience was this: "At the end of the day we're still the same, even though we come from opposite sides of the world. GlobalGirl Media has given us a running start in our lives to make global connections."
For her HALO giveback experience, Rocio got to meet LA Clippers basketball player Chris Paul! A big basketball fan herself, Rocio said her time with Chris Paul was both fun and inspiring: "He gave me 101 courses on how to golf and bowl and that was really sweet. But he also took the time to mentor me and tell me 'thank you' and tell me to keep doing what I'm doing -- working for global female empowerment."
Rocio is currently a sophomore at Wellesley College, and when she's not studying working for female empowerment around the world, she loves listening to Big Sean, Lady Gaga, Paramore and watching Awkward.
Don't miss Rocio and the rest of the honorees at the 2013 HALO Awards this Sunday, November 17th at 8pm ET!
- Posted on 11/11/2013 by Cristine Prosperi.
Photo Credit: Cristine Prosperi's Instagram / @crisprosperi.
If I can buy one higher priced item this year, what would you recommend I should get? Purse? Jeans? Shoes?
This is such a great question. I love my purses so I would definitely recommend spoiling yourself with a great bag! Bags can last you for years and, if you pick the right one, never go out of style.
I recommend a neutral color (black, nudes) when it comes to an expensive bag. That way you can wear it with any type of outfit. Also, if you pick the right bag, you can literally wear it all the time. So why not splurge on something you'll use everyday?!
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!
The drama of last week's Degrassi pretty much pummeled us with the force of a freight train. Drew was on the outs with Dallas over his wayward behavior, Maya felt the wrath of the internet when her controversial music video went viral, and Alli found out that Leo's violent behavior returned. This week's episode picked up the pieces, but it conjured up an entire spectrum of feels: good, bad, and confused. Check out our recap below, but if you haven't seen the episode yet, watch it online first!
DO PEOPLE CHANGE?
When Leo physically struck Alli last week, she said she never wanted to see him again. When Jenna and Clare commented on the cake job that, obviously, was an attempt to cover up her bruises, Alli deflected and said she had been up all night studying. Even though she did tell them that she and Leo got into a fight, she withheld, um, a few crucial details. Leo made several phone calls and delivered a half dozen apology balloons, but at this point, Alli actually seemed to be holding her ground. After all, she had to focus on her SATs.
But when she came upon a question during her exam that asked, "Do people change?" she thought twice about her decision to write Leo off forever. In that moment, she found some part of her that did believe Leo was capable of changing. And ultimately, she forgave him under the condition that he would get therapy.
Now, we'd be surprised (and perhaps a little concerned) if this decision didn't faze you. Though every case of relationship abuse is different, domestic violence tends to follow a generally prescribed path: if it happens once, it will happen again. And again. You've even seen it played out in the Degrassi of yore (remember Rick and Terri? Or Fiona and Bobby?). Even though Alli is convinced that she and Leo have something "special," something that's worth fighting for, we'd be remiss not to assume that their issues are far from resolved. And we hope you all watch and absorb Alli's plot line with caution, too. It remains to be seen exactly what will happen, but my goodness, how many times has this story been told? And how many times has it ended in tragedy?
ONE REASON TO STAY
Last week, Dallas started to act with questionable judgement by skipping school, drinking, and hooking up with girls. His behavior came somewhat out of the blue, and Drew's concern for him caused a rift in their relationship. Like all of us, Drew was confused about what inspired Dallas' delinquent behavior, and after their confrontation last week, he didn't have the chance to reconcile.
Dallas packed up his room and essentially went MIA for a while before Drew sought answers from Dallas' hockey teammates. (BTW, what's up, Luke Baker? So nice of you to show your face! You're lookin' great!) Turns out, Dallas was let go from the team to make way for new talent.
After a slew of missed phone calls left Drew more worried than ever, Dallas finally showed up to class. And he made about half way through his presentation before tossing his drunken cookies. Blech, at least he made it to the trash can?
Drew and Dallas were finally able to real-talk, and it became clear that Dallas was struggling to accept the fact that his dreams of making it to the NHL had been all but crushed. When Dallas revealed that he was considering leaving Degrassi, Drew said something that really hit home: "I already lost one brother this year. I can't lose another." In the end, Dallas moved back in and promised to quit the drinking. (However, he maintained that he couldn't do anything about the ladies loving him. Because, obviously.)
Things turned from bad to worse in the Maya FaceRange scandal when a random dude tried to grope her in the music room. Fortunately, Miles entered swiftly (if somewhat gangly) and punched the guy before he could lay another finger on her. Miles then apologized for joining the forces of shame, for calling her slut, and even admitted that his own behavior more deserved a humiliating FaceRange page. Aw, Miles. Good job. HOWEVER, Maya very astutely pointed out an undeniable truth: The difference in the way promiscuity is perceived between guys and girls is that, "They'd probably build you a statue." Uh huh.
Maya had had enough and she was on the hunt for whomever started the infamous page. With Miles' help and a little recon in the rubber room hallway (which, BTW, I guess that's just like the punk rock hallway?), Maya found out who the culprit was. Dun dun dun... ZOE RIVAS, Y'ALL.
And cue the breaking loose of all H-E double hockey sticks.
When Maya confronted Zoe about starting the page, the altercation turned into a full-on brawl wherein clumps of hair were yanked and clothes were mercilessly ripped. The girls landed in Principal Simpson's office and were given a week of detention, but Maya thought Zoe deserved to have criminal charges pressed against her.
Zoe, of course, put her acting skills to work and feigned remorse, which naturally left Maya even more upset. So much so, that she decided to write and perform a kiss-off tune dedicated to Zoe in which she, erm, basically threatened Zoe's life. And then Maya was suspended.
But by the end of the episode, it appeared that suspension was actually treating her pretty well. Miles came to her window that night, told her how awesome and talented and beautiful she was, and they finally kissed.
/*/*`\**`*/`\*\`/`*\*\/ <-- Fireworks.
Alright, it's your turn, Degrassi fans! What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments! And watch the video below to see what's happening next week!
Ever dreamed about being one of those lucky teens in the audience at the HALO Awards? You know, the ones who have front-row seats and get to brush shoulders with TeenNick celebs all night?
Well, seeing as the HALO Awards honor teens who 'Help And Lead Others' in their community, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that those who scored a ticket to the show on Sunday, November 17th did just that. This year, we're honoring the work of three outstanding organizations, Amigos de los Rios, Boys & Girls Club of America, and Key Club, by giving a select few of their members tickets to the live event! (So when you see that lucky someone high-fiving Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy, you'll know that they probably deserve it.)
Check out just how excellent these organizations are.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA
For more than 100 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has made it its mission to help young people realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Today, there are more than 4,000 clubs across the nation that provide adult mentors, after-school activities, community service opportunities and, ultimately, a safe space for American youth who might need it most.
Just a few weeks ago, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America led a volunteer event at the Thomas House homeless shelter in Los Angeles. Fifteen volunteers got together to lead activities with families, host a movie night, and cook a special meal for the residents.
Key Club, the high school branch of Kiwanis International, is the largest and oldest service club for youth ages 14-18 years old. Members of the Key Club perform community service activities that range from cleaning up parks to organizing clothing drives to fundraising for various worldwide causes. The Key Club assists Kiwanis International in its mission to serve a very important part of our community: youth.
AMIGOS DE LOS RIOS
Since its inception in 2003, Amigos de los Rios has worked to create lively, sustainable communities in urban neighborhoods in and around the Los Angeles area. The non-profit works closely with local governments and residents to build parks, playgrounds, and other environmentally-conscious public spaces in areas that suffer from societal problems like high population density and poor public heath. Their mission is not only to protect the environment, but also strengthen the community. It's all about creating a synergy between the environment and its inhabitants because, y'know, we have to rely on each other!
Most recently, on October 19th, Amigos de Los Rios hosted a 3-hour, 125-person volunteer project at Hollydale Park in Los Angeles. Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs & Kiwanis joined Amigos de los Rios' own volunteers to plant and spread mulch for over 75 native California shrubs, paint over 300 feet of fencing, and remove graffiti throughout the park.
Even though we've only just skimmed the surface of the amazing, ovation-worthy service these organizations have performed, join us in a collective, virtual round of applause. *Claps*
During the live show, we'll feature pictures these various service projects that the awesome do-gooding teens collected themselves. Their pics will appear in our HALO Hive social media lounge with #HALOawards. And don't forget to look out for 'em in the audience on Sunday, November 17th!
Remember mixtapes? Those desperate little vessels of hope you'd give to those special someones, hoping your song compilation would make it clear just how much you loved them, and more to the point, how much they should love you? Perhaps you'd throw in a couple of songs you really didn't like all that much so you'd look cool. Or maybe you were on the receiving end of a mixtape, trying desperately to parse the meaning behind every song title, lyric and extended mandolin solo. (What did he mean by "you"? Does the Proclaimers' 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' mean he'll literally walk 500 miles for me or am I reading too much into it?")
Well, the 90s Are All That is bringing all that magical mixedness back this November 25th with a Mixtape Monday!
Every good mixtape has a theme, and so we're kicking off the holiday season '90s Nick episodes featuring parties! And of course, the raison d'etre (look it up) of a mixtape is that it's dedicated to someone or something, so we're giving you the chance to dedicate '90s Nick episodes on-air. That's right, finally, here's your chance to fulfill that dream of being a VJ on TV!
It's easy � just check out the featured episodes below. Tweet us a Vine or InstaVid of you showing your love for or dedicating a particular '90s fave, include #Nick90sParty, and watch for it on-air!
So what're you waiting for, a Spice Girls reunion? Check out the videos now and get to VJing!
All press is good press, right?
Everyone's been giving Maya a hard time since her racy music video went viral last week. But wait, who's this guy who might actually stand out in the sea of bullies? Oh, nevermind, he's only after an easy hookup.
Good thing a certain someone busts in to give the gross perp a fistful! (Literally.)
Check out the first look of "Barely Breathing" below! Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget an all-new Degrassi premieres this Thursday at 9PM ET!
2011 Halo honoree Emily-Anne Rigal has no patience for bullies. After being put-down as a young girl, Emily decided enough was enough. In 2010, Emily-Anne founded and created WeStopHate.org, a teen-run website that tackles bullying through the viral power of social media videos. If you haven't heard of WeStopHate.org, let us enlighten you: the non-profit movement has grown to unimaginable heights. We caught up with the superstar HALO-er herself, and here's what she had to say!
What have you been doing since the HALO awards?
In addition to our social media initiatives, WeStopHate has expanded our program offline, by creating WeStopHate clubs in schools across the country. Any teenager can go to WeStopHate.org/clubs to download information about starting a WeStopHate club in their school!
What has been one of your favorite achievements since joining/starting your organization?
After the HALO Awards, Newsweek ranked me on their 2012 list of the "150 Most Fearless Women in the World" alongside my heroes like Hillary Clinton and Oprah. I was so honored to be included on this list!
October is National Bully Month, what are you doing to help get word out about WeStopHate.org?
WeStopHate received a $50,000 grant from Peace First this month and to celebrate, we were featured on The TODAY Show.
What advice do you give to teens who have been bullied?
We can never underestimate the importance of being open about our experiences. Even though it is difficult to share what you are going through, I feel strongly that having one-on-one conversations with people in your life who you trust is a good way to figure out how you can rise above the bullies.
What advice to you have for teens who bully?
I think it's important for bullies to realize that they are most likely bullying because they are dealing with their own issues and insecurities. I advise bullies to focus their energy on doing something they love (like playing a sport or making YouTube videos) because doing things that make us feel good will stop the bullying cycle.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As much as we love dressing to the nines from time to time, most days we swear by the saying, "comfort is king." If you're the kind of gal whose wardrobe consists of a few quality, casual-chic staples, this week's Q&A with Cristine Prosperi goes out to you!
QUESTION: If I mostly wear jeans and tees, how can I spice up my wardrobe but still be comfortable?
I'm all about being comfortable and stylish! I often wear jeans and tees. The key is how you accessorize an outfit. For a jeans and t-shirt look, I always throw in some chunky jewelry and a fun bag to tie it all together. Even a scarf can do wonders to an outfit! Turn the look from day to night by throwing a blazer overtop and cute little booties.