By Ashley Parker on
Normally, celebrities are the ones receiving awards. That’s not how it works with TeenNick’s HALO Awards. The stars are giving them, not receiving.
In the first ever TeenNick HALO Awards, Justin Timberlake, Hayden Panettiere, Alicia Keys and LeBron James are giving four teens “the surprise of their lives,” according to host and chairman of TeenNick, Nick Cannon.
TeenNick combed the country looking for inspiring teens who have made a difference.
First is Bryan Jackson, who has been living with AIDS since he was five. At just 11 months old, his father intentionally injected him with HIV-tainted blood in an attempt to avoid paying future child support. Besides volunteering at a camp for kids infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, he speaks at school all over the country to educate students about the virus. On his 18th birthday, he founded an organization called Hope is Vital (HIV) to "raise awareness, understanding, and compassion for people infected with and suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Next is Megan Kilroy. She was the first appointed Team Marine captain of her school, and has plans for the group to recycle plastic to raise money to send to Life Straws of Africa, to organize beach clean ups, to continue fighting to ban plastic bags in Santa Monica, and to continue to educate the community about protecting the ocean.
Darrius Snow, born in the projects of Atlanta, is one of five kids in his family. Each was born to a different father, and his drug-addicted mother abandoned the kids when Darrius was only two years old. He is the first in his family to graduate high school, and is a freshman at Voorhees College. He was President of the BTEAM (Bankhead Teens Encouraging Action by Motivating others), which was a group of teens “organized to transform the neighborhood from a drug and crime-infested one, to a positive environment where young people can be active with Essential 2 Life, an organization that provides educational and mentoring opportunities.”
Finally, there’s Leah Stoltz. She found out in sixth grade that she had scoliosis, a serious lateral curve in her spine. She had to wear a full torso, hard plastic brace for 22 hours a day, in hopes that her curve could be corrected. She started her own support group at age 13, called Curvy Girls of Long Island. She wore the brace for two and a half years and still needed surgery. Leah has become the spokesperson for the National Scoliosis Foundation. She has helped to support and educate other young girls and their parents about living with the issue, and tried to help them gain a positive self-image.
To learn more, go to www.teennick.com/halo. The show airs on December 11, 2009 at 8pm.
Copyright © 2009 Look to the Stars