TeenNick Blog

  • Q&A With March HALO Effect Honoree: Christopher Yao

    Posted on 03/04/2014 by Rachel1016

    HALO Effect: Christopher Yao

    It's the beginning of the month, and that means it's time to celebrate those who Help And Lead Others!

    Meet Christopher Yao: Our HALO Effect honoree for the month of March and an embodiment of what the HALO Effect is all about. He is driven, compassionate, wise beyond his years, and truly dedicated to the principle of spreading social change!

    Christopher gave us some exclusive insight into his remarkable work with Kids Change the World, a non-profit organization that he founded to empower youth to take global issues into their own hands. Read his full bio here, and check out our Q&A below!

    Congratulations on your HALO Effect honors! Tell us a little bit about your non-profit organization, Kids Change the World. How did you think of the idea? Has the organization evolved over time?

    I was diagnosed with a class III malocclusion [a severe misalignment of teeth] in 6th grade, and I was terrified of the expected gradual worsening of the condition. If I left it untreated, I would not be able to speak or eat properly. During my research about my own physical condition, I came across online images of children with cleft lips and palates. I could relate to how they felt. In developing countries, these children are thought to be "cursed" by God and are often abandoned by their own families. Without corrective surgeries, the prospect of a job, marriage, and a normal life is nil. I knew I had to do something, if even just to help one child.

    So, I decided to organize the first annual summer Read-A-Thon in 6th grade. By the summer's end, to my surprise, I had raised $1,000—four times my initial goal! Since then, my efforts have supported over 70 cleft lip and palate surgeries in China, Mexico, India, and other developing countries.

    Encouraged by the power of youth, I founded Kids Change the World to empower them to also serve in their communities.

    Kids Change the World has grown into one of the world's leading youth-led civic organizations. What is one of the biggest obstacles you've had to face on your journey to success, and how did you overcome it?

    My biggest obstacle was having others take me, a 10-year old [at the time], seriously. Countless times I had attempted to solicit donations from community members or groups only to be told to "go back to playing in the sandbox" because of my age. However, I didn't let that stop me.

    Over the years, those comments have become the exact encouragement that has fueled my work. I wanted to prove to myself that they were wrong. At the end of the day, I know people are counting on me—my work changes lives, families, and communities; I know my ability to have a positive impact is a gift to be used to its fullest every day.

    If someone wanted to get involved with Kids Change the World, what would be his or her first step?

    Kids Change the World is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging and enabling young people to volunteer and create positive social change in their communities. Volunteers can visit our website to join our hard-working team, participate in one of our programs, or utilize our grassroots resources to further their charitable initiatives. We are always eager to support young people who are determined and self-motivated to make a positive societal impact.

    Your first fundraiser was directed towards funding cleft surgeries for kids around the world. What other causes does your organization support? And how did you choose them?

    Our volunteers, patients, and students continually make suggestions and solicit our support towards countless worthy causes.

    Among our many programs, the Education Preparation project has distributed hundreds of school supplies, planners, and other educational resources to students around the globe. Its website serves as a hub of learning with custom-made educational videos, sample curricula, worksheets, and links to other resources.

    Furthermore, Kids Change the World supports children in clinics, orphanages, and partner hospitals around the world by providing moral support and encouragement through uplifting cards and gifts.

    Kids Change the World was founded on the principle of encouraging and enabling others to take action in order to create a domino effect of people helping others. With every person helped, there is one more person to pass another good deed onto someone else.

    Kids Change the World is based on the vision that young people are capable of not only making a difference, but of changing the world. What would you say to someone who challenges the belief that kids' voices are meant to be heard?

    Young people are our future, as they will create policies and make decisions about public health, education, politics, the environment, and more.

    It's also important to remember that there is no minimum requirement of wealth, status, or age to change the world. The fact is, any positive action, no matter how big or small, makes a difference either in the life of another or as an example to follow. I often remind other young people like me to remember: "No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big."

    Do you know any truly inspiring teens who are making an impact like Christopher? Nominate them here!

  • 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!

  • '90s Are All That: Our Favorite Moments from 'Kenan & Kel'

    Posted on 02/27/2014 by Rachel1016

    Kenan & Kel

    Awww, here it goes! Kenan and Kel were the original hi-jinx masters, always getting themselves into hilarious trouble. It's time to take a look back at all of their daffy shenanigans and remember that the very best of friends are the ones who will love you no matter how crazy you are. (Plus, who else was rad enough to have '90s superstar Coolio sing their theme song? Oh right, nobody.)

    If you can't trust a clown, who can you trust? Just as Kenan and Kel decide it's time to grown up and act responsible, a clown makes a total fool out of them. The irony is just… so sweet.

    Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, Kenan and Kel make a list of goals to accomplish before they die. The two decide to climb the stairs of the Sears Tower (now called the The Willis Tower -- so vintage) and, of course, few things actually go right.

    Kenan mistakenly gets a job as the Executive Vice President of a big company, and he hires Kel as his personal assistant. But when he's called upon to make a big presentation on his plans for the company, it becomes clear that both of the guys aren't cut out for the big leagues.

    It's April Fool's Day and the boys' pranking game is, unsurprisingly, on point. But when Kenan has a run-in with a real cop, it seems as though the spirit of the holiday has gone straight to his head.

    In a rare, serious Kenan & Kel moment, the boys take a trip down memory lane after Kenan learns his family is moving to Montana. No one wanted to see this gruesome twosome break up, but *spoiler alert* we thankfully didn't have to.

    What are some of your favorite memories from Kenan & Kel? Share them with us in the comments!

  • TeenNick Top 10: Vote For Your Favorite Videos + Little Mix Stop By This Friday!

    Posted on 02/26/2014 by baileyb2112

    Last week, Ellie Goulding started off Season 3 of TeenNick Top 10, setting fire to the countdown with her sizzling video for "Burn." Plus, 17-year-old superstar Lorde (best known for her mega-hit "Royals") climbed to the #2 spot with her video for "Team."

    TeenNick Top 10

    Here's the full countdown from Friday, 2/14/14:

    1. Ellie Goulding, "Burn"
    2. Lorde, "Team"
    3. One Direction, "Story of My Life"
    4. Passenger, "Let Her Go"
    5. Sara Bareilles, "Brave"
    6. A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera, "Say Something"
    7. Beyonce, "XO"
    8. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"
    9. Austin Mahone feat. Pitbull, "Mmm Yeah"
    10. Jake Miller, "Collide"

    If you want to make sure the videos you love have a place on this week's countdown, vote right here! This is an episode you don't want to miss because we've got a group of very special guests: LITTLE MIX! This girl group has blown up over the last few years, and we can't wait to see where they go next.

    TeenNick Top 10

    We know you can't wait to see these super special guests on Friday's episode! But until then, check out all of the songs in the running for this week's countdown (including all of the new nominees) on TeenNick Top 10's Spotify playlist below!

    Will Ellie Goulding be able to hold on to that top spot, or will someone else knock her off of her throne? It's up to you! VOTE VOTE VOTE, then give us your best predictions in the comments, and find out during this Friday's episode!

    Little Mix

  • Degrassi: "TV Room & Trivia"

    Posted on 02/26/2014 by Rachel1016

    Fans of Degrassi? Then you're in the right place! Welcome to the Zeebox Degrassi TV Room! Play our trivia game and test your knowledge of all things Degrassi. Connect with fellow Degrassi fans by starting up a conversation below. And don't forget to tune in every Tuesday at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT for all new episodes of your favorite high school drama!

    Play-along with zeebox

    Visit the Official Room on zeebox to join in the discussion!

  • Degrassi Recap: 'No Surprises'

    Posted on 02/26/2014 by Rachel1016

    Far be it from us to suggest that episode titles of Degrassi should have anything to do with the actual events of the episode, but can we be real for a second? There were most certainly one or two surprises in this week's brand-new Degrassi. If you haven't seen "No Surprises" yet, be sure to check it out here before reading our recap, because we actually might spoil something for you!

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    While Maya and Miles hung out by the pool after school (you know, just to be cool), Miles convinced Maya to skinny dip with him. It only took minimal convincing for Maya to strip down and jump into the pool with Miles sans clothes. But before things could get too steamy, Mr. Hollingsworth walked in with his campaign staff, caught Maya and Miles, and quickly disapproved of the situation.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    After the awkward encounter, Miles was determined to get back in his father's good graces. So, he set out to help with the campaign and really change his dad's mind.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    But while he was helping organize campaign materials, he overheard his dad having an intimate conversation with his campaign manager, Andrea. Miles was suspicious about his father's relationship with Andrea, and decided to find out what was going on.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    Right before his family's campaign media training, Miles planted a necklace in Andrea's bag to gauge her reaction. If she was disgusted that a married man would try to woo her with gifts, there was nothing to worry about. If she seemed happy, Miles would be sure his father was having an affair. Unfortunately, Andrea smiled as she found the gift box in her purse, and Miles' heart sank to the very nadir of his stomach. His dad was cheating on his mom.

    In a fit of rage, Miles made a scene during his family's media training. And as he stormed out of the room, his mother followed him. When Miles told his mom about the suspicions, he was shocked to find out that she not only already knew, but that she chose to ignore her husband's indiscretions for the sake of the campaign. Miles couldn't believe what he was hearing. His family was on the verge of crumbling for the sake of a mayoral campaign. Could you imagine how much it must hurt to see your parents being so dishonest?

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    Later on, Miles confided in Maya about his family situation. It seemed like she was the only person who could make him feel better, the only person who could keep all of his family problems at bay, even if just for a little while. As they were laying on the couch together, Mile looked in her eyes and dropped the L-bomb. *gasp* And then Maya said it back.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    When Clare found out Eli wouldn't be able to come home to help celebrate her 6 months cancer-free bungee jumping adventure, she hesitatingly invited Drew to take his place. She worried that hanging out with Drew might be a little weird considering the fact, oh, right, that they kissed over Thanksgiving while she and Eli were on a brief break.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    Tied together with, like, millimeters between them, Clare started to feel some feels. In fact, she could barely form coherent sentences because she was trying to stave off those tingly somethings that Drew was suddenly making her feel.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    After Clare and Drew took the big jump (which somehow landed them in a giant pond), they dried off and changed their clothes in her car. Drew offered his try shirt to Clare and then oh-so casually said, "I just realized I don't have another shirt." Oh, heavens. Lest things go any further, Clare suggested that Drew find another ride home. Confused, Drew got out of the car, and Clare sat there wondering what in the world she was going to do with her feelings.

    What do you guys think? Is Clare just missing Eli? Or is there a chance she could really like Drew?

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    Alli and Dallas were getting along splendidly as lab partners, but it was pretty clear Dallas wanted something more. He was still unaware of the details surrounding Alli's tumultuous breakup with Leo, and how her healing process was nowhere near over, so he decided to ask her out on a date. And despite a gift basket full of girly, tender-loving-care products (which, hi, we'd gladly accept), Alli said…

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    Dallas was upset, and assumed Alli wasn't over her ex-boyfriend, or wasn't interested in Dallas altogether. But she eventually told him exactly what happened between her and Leo.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    She explained how he hit her and how she was still recovering from both the mental and physical effects. Dallas listened intently as Alli described the horrific altercation, and his blood began to boil.

    Degrassi: No Surprises

    As much as we all would like to see Dallas pummel Leo into the earth, Alli asserted him that it wouldn't change anything. But if one thing's for sure, Dallas cares about Alli. That much is clear. He's on her side, and even if she can't give him what he maybe wants right now, we really hope he's going to be there for her.

    That's about it for this week, Degrassians! Tell us what you thought about the episode in the comments below!

  • Melinda's Beauty Blog: Beating Your Winter Skin Blues

    Posted on 02/25/2014 by Melinda Shankar

    Melinda's Beauty Blog: Beating Your Winter Skin Blues

    You know and love Melinda Shankar as Alli Bhandari on Degrassi, but if you've followed her outside of the show, you've probably noticed she has a knack for style and beauty. We are so excited because Melinda has offered to share her image expertise with us in a brand-new beauty blog! Over the next few weeks, Melinda will periodically pop in to answer questions you sent us via Facebook and Twitter about hair, makeup, skincare and everything in between. She's taking to the blog to share all of her secrets, so stay tuned!

    Melinda's Beauty Blog: Beating Your Winter Skin Blues

    FAN QUESTION: What are some tips to beating winter skin? I'm always so dry and scaly feeling!

    Winter winds can be harsh on our skin. The cold air dries it out and you can feel like you're braving non-stop skin issues until spring. One of my favourite (and inexpensive) cures is Petroleum jelly. It acts as lip balm, hair flyaway tamer, cuticle moisturizer, and treats wind burn. Not only is it a heavy source of moisture, but it's also instant relief for cracked skin. I wouldn't recommend slathering that on your face, however, as it has an oil base which can clog pores.

    Drinking extra water is also key as hydration plays a big part in your skin. Too cold for water? Drink it hot! It'll double as warmth and comfort. Keeping a humidifier by your bed side at night can also help circulate moisture into the air, which, in turn, leaves your skin hydrated!

    Hailing from Canada's capital, Ottawa, Melinda Shankar joined the cast of�Degrassi�in its eighth season as Sav Bhandari's little sister, Alli. Prior to this, she did runway and print modeling. Melinda's passion for beauty has led her to a new position as CEO of Miss Conception image consulting.

  • TeenNick Top 10 Fresh Artist Interview: New Politics

    Posted on 02/24/2014 by Rachel1016

    Fresh Artist: New Politics

    If you thought Denmark's greatest gift to the United States was the country's delicious namesake puff pastry, then think again. New Politics are a three-piece band who burst on the scene after relocating from their hometown of Copenhagen to the artistic paradise of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and have since won many international hearts! The Danish-bred lads serve a unique blend of pop-tinged punk, and their performances are full of energy, heart, and even acrobatics. Check out our exclusive Q&A with our brand-new Fresh Artist below!

    1. You're originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, but have since relocated to Brooklyn, New York. Have any music influences traveled with you from Denmark to the States?
    Yes. We are very influenced by American and British music, but we also have our own Scandinavian music that has influenced us, as well.

    2. You're currently on the Harlem, USA Tour and will eventually gear up for the Monumentour this summer with Fall Out Boy and Paramore. What's the best part about being on tour?
    Meeting all of awesome fans. And playing our music every night. Touring with other bands is always inspiring and keeps us working hard.

    3. David, you incorporate break-dancing into a lot of your live shows, and it's featured in your video for "Harlem." How did you get into break-dancing? How has the break-dancing culture and/or Harlem influenced your sound?
    I got into break-dancing as a kid with my friends in Copenhagen. I fell in love with it and never stopped. Dancing has always been a part of New Politics and, yes, I am heavily influenced by all dancing cultures. It was surreal visiting Harlem because it is one of the birth places if hip-hop.

    4. What's the best and/or weirdest thing that's ever happened at a New Politics show?
    There are so many crazy things that happen on the road. Pinpointing one thing is hard. But if we had to pick one the best moments was performing on Jimmy Fallon. It was so unreal being on that stage with Jimmy Fallon to the right of us and the Roots to the left. Mind blowing!

    5. If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
    We all have different people we would love to collaborate with. A few of them would be John Lennon, Kurt Cobain or Elvis Presley.

    And now, the rapid fire round! We asked New Politics a series of silly questions, and here's the first thing that came to their mind!





    PRE-SHOW RITUAL: A good nights rest, and our dis-harmonic circle we do before we play.

    ULTIMATE COLLABORATION: Dave Grohl, Pharell Williams, Max Martin




    If you want to catch more of these guys, head over to the TeenNick Top 10 page! And don't forget to tune in this Friday at 10PM ET!
  • Melinda's Beauty Blog: The Secret To Simple Hairstyles!

    Posted on 02/20/2014 by Melinda Shankar

    Melinda's Beauty Blog: Simple Hair

    You know and love Melinda Shankar as Alli Bhandari on Degrassi, but if you've followed her outside of the show, you've probably noticed she has a knack for style and beauty. We are so excited because Melinda has offered to share her image expertise with us in a brand-new beauty blog! Over the next few weeks, Melinda will periodically pop in to answer questions you sent us via Facebook and Twitter about hair, makeup, skincare and everything in between. She's taking to the blog to share all of her secrets, so stay tuned!

    Melinda's Beauty Blog: Gym To Class

    FAN QUESTION: What is your best go-to hairstyle when you have no time to do something fancy or special to it? Do you have a favourite hair accessory that you cannot live without?

    My life consists of attending many fun events, but a lot of the time I'm not given much notice. With little time to book a hair appointment, I've mastered the art of simple high fashion hair styles that never let me down!

    One of my favourite hairstyles is a pin-straight, slicked-back high pony tail. Sounds way more complicated than it is. Start with brushing your hair out, straightening it much as possible and tie your hair up wherever you desire (I suggest fairly high on your head). Then, using an empty mascara wand, either drench it in hair spray or dip it in gel. Comb back any fly always and stray hairs until it's perfectly sleek! Tip: This sharp look paired with cheek contour/blush is amazing as a look!

    My favourite hair accessory would definitely be my thin jewel studded head band. Its base is elastic, so it works with my hair down, in a ponytail, and over my head like a crown. The added bling jazzes up even the most simple hair style. Tip: Get two and wrap one around your arm twice as a bracelet.

    The best part about personal image and fashion is that it's YOURS! Play around with different styles, bend all of the "rules" and make it your own.

    Hailing from Canada's capital, Ottawa, Melinda Shankar joined the cast of�Degrassi�in its eighth season as Sav Bhandari's little sister, Alli. Prior to this, she did runway and print modeling. Melinda's passion for beauty has led her to a new position as CEO of Miss Conception image consulting.

  • '90s Are All That: Our Favorite Moments from 'CatDog!'

    Posted on 02/20/2014 by LauraMac


    We all know cats have taken over the Internet without really trying, and dogs are...well, foolish. It's nice to see not much has changed since CatDog first aired on Nick. Check out our top five episodes with our favorite odd couple.

    Cat loves his brother, Dog...but, yeesh, can't a guy get some time alone? When the conjoined bros decide to take some time apart, Cat learns to be careful what you wish for.

    One of the best things about animation is ANYTHING can happen. This episode magically makes everyone in the world of CatDog lose their voices and suffer sudden colorblindness. Get ready for the ultimate #tbt -- the silent era of film and cartoons!

    Dog is smart in this episode. No, really. He's actually smart.

    We love Winslow. How can you not admire such a big, wiseguy personality in such a tiny mouse? Cat won't invite the little guy to his house party, though, so Winslow sets out to exact his revenge. Don't mess with the mouse.

    For the obsessive Star Wars fan in all of us, this episode is a must-see. When CatDog literally get sucked into Dog's favorite sci-fi movie, Dog is hard-pressed to become an intergalactic hero. Fuddy-duddy Cat couldn't care less...until he falls in love with a space princess, which is kinda magnificent.

    What are some of your favorite memories from CatDog? Share them with us in the comments!