Josh Hutcherson, Queen Latifah, Chris Paul and Shay Mitchell join creator, host and executive producer Nick Cannon in honoring four exceptional teens in the fifth annual TeenNick HALO Awards. Celebrating real-life teens who are “Helping and Leading Others” (HALO), the star-studded annual awards show will broadcast live for the first time ever from the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. (ET/tape delayed for West Coast) on Nick at Nite. The TeenNick HALO Awards pairs each honoree with a mega-celebrity who shares their commitment to service. The 90-minute special features an interactive social media lounge, musical performances, celebrity presenters and special surprises. The TeenNick HALO Awards will encore Monday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m. (ET) on TeenNick.
“I’m humbled by the truly inspiring and tremendous work these HALO honorees are doing in their communities,” said Cannon. “It’s my goal to continue the conversations about issues that impact teens today, and empower young people to take action and make a difference in the world.”
“The TeenNick HALO Awards has grown year-over-year and we’re thrilled to bring the stories of these extraordinary teens to our audience in a live and interactive way for the first time ever,” said Russell Hicks, President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon. “We hope kids will be inspired to continue the movement and ‘HALO’ throughout the year.”
This year, celebrities in attendance at the TeenNick HALO Awards can visit the “HALO Hive,” an interactive social media lounge, and encourage viewers to tweet and Instagram pics. Fans can tweet with #HALOawards to share how they plan on helping and leading others in their own communities.
Each TeenNick HALO Award honoree was surprised by a visit from Cannon or one of his HALO helpers, Austin Mahone and Daniella Monet, awarded a grant for their organization and given an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet andconnect with a celebrity who shares a similar passion for their cause. This year’s honorees are:
Miranda Fuentes, 16, Pembroke Pines, Fla. (paired with Shay Mitchell) – Inspired by her younger brother Lucas who has autism, Miranda Fuentes has spent the past five years volunteering with Surfers for Autism. The Florida-based organization uses surfing as hydrotherapy, which helps the kids open up and express themselves in a calming environment. The organization also helps eliminate the social stigma around autism and gives the participants an opportunity to impress their families with their new capabilities. Fuentes’ HALO match Shay Mitchell works with the Somaly Mam Foundation to eradicate sex slavery, liberate its victims, and empower survivors to create and sustain lives of dignity and as agents of next-generation change.
Zachary Kerr, 19, Methuen, Mass. (paired with Josh Hutcherson) – Growing up as one of three identical triplets, Zachary Kerr spent years battling gender identity issues before making a transitional journey from female to male. After facing tough challenges, he became a positive advocate for the transgender community, facilitating educational programs through Greater Boston PFLAG and paving the way for more acceptance and equal treatment for others like him at both state and national levels. Kerr’s HALO match, Josh Hutcherson, was a founding member of Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN), an organization that prepares and trains young adults on how to become allies of their LGBTQ peers.
Rocio Ortega, 19, Los Angeles, Calif. (paired with Chris Paul) – A first-generation Mexican American, Rocio Ortega developed a passion for advocating education as a way to help young women become independent and successful. She works extensively with Global Girl Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls from under-served communities around the world through new media leadership training, and Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Ortega’s HALO match is Chris Paul who founded the CP3 Foundation, a philanthropic partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation that strives to impact the communities it services by using its resources and passion for philanthropy to enhance and promote education, health, sports and social responsibility for youth and families.
Denzel Thompson, 19, Philadelphia, Pa. (paired with Queen Latifah) – Denzel Thompson is a co-founder of Philadelphia Urban Creators (PUC), a youth led organization that grows organic food and revitalizes blighted landscapes into models of urban sustainability from the ground up, after battling obesity and self-esteem issues as a kid. In addition to organizing homegrown affordable farmers markets for the neighborhood, Thompson conducts educational workshops for youth in his community so they can begin to expand the Urban Creator mission throughout Philadelphia and eventually the world. Thompson’s HALO match, Queen Latifah, supports Boys & Girls Clubs of America, whose mission is to enable young people most in need to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Nickelodeon has partnered with Amigos de los Rios, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Key Club International in the Los Angeles area to reward their star volunteers with the opportunity to be part of the HALO effect. The teens can earn a ticket to attend the TeenNick HALO Awards by participating in three hours of community service.
In the weeks leading up to the live show, the TeenNick HALO Awards dedicated site will highlight the honorees, celebrity hosts, presenters and musical performers, as well as enlist teens across the country to show how they “HALO” through InstaVids and Vine videos. On the night of the event, TeenNick.com will offer viewers an immersive, enhanced viewing of the live show with real-time orange carpet coverage, instant-replay show highlights, exclusive behind-the-scenes pics and videos, and a post-show wrap-up. The 2013 TeenNick HALO Awards can be viewed on the site in its entirety beginning Nov. 19.
Presenting sponsors of the fifth annual TeenNick HALO Awards are COVERGIRL, Reese’s Puffs® cereal, Green Giant and Target.
The TeenNick HALO Awards is a Nickelodeon Original executive produced by Nick Cannon, Alex Coletti and Sal Maniaci.
Photos: Evans Wards/Nickelodeon