Teen Nick hosts first ever Halo Awards giving heroic teens the prize of a lifetime

marisapatwa ’12

On Dec. 11, 2009, the first ever Halo Awards aired on Teen Nick, giving four ordinary teens who have done extraordinary things for their community, the surprise of a lifetime. Each teen received an unexpected visit from the host of the awards Nick Cannon. Then Lebron James, Hayden Panettiere, Alicia Keys, and Justin Timberlake surprised these teens with a night to spend with them, ten thousand dollars to donate to their project or cause of choice, and an additional ten thousand for their own personal use.

All four teens had been passionate about a certain issue through first hand experience and decided to change their lives by making a difference and sharing their experiences to better help out their communities along with other teens experiencing the same thing.

Teen Brryan Jackson, one of the recipients of the coveted Halo, has lived with HIV since he was eleven months old. Despite the odds against him, Jackson has turned the disease into a lesson for others. He is now a staff member at Camp Kindle, a camp for kids infected with AIDS, and founded his own organization, Hope is Vital.

Teen Megan Kilroy, an ocean lover and president of Team Marine, another winner, is dedicated to keeping the waters of Southern California clean. She believes in making a difference at an early age to help the planet as much as possible.

“Knowledge is the pathway to change and the more you know, the bigger difference you can make,” Kilroy said in an interview with TeenNick.com.


Winner Megan Kilroy recieves two checks from host Nick Cannon equaling twenty thousand dollars

Teens Darrius Snow, president of Bankhead Teens Encouraging Action by Motivating Others, and Leah Stolz, founder of Curvy Girls for Long Island, are also winners of the award.

However, it is not a requirement to experience something traumatic or create a foundation to want to make a difference. Motivation, supporters, and a cause are sufficient ingredients to having an impact. Any cause, from stopping animal cruelty to global warming, can be supported across the nation and even in Ohio.

To graduate from UAHS, every student is required to do service hours, but there are a few students who put it off until last minute over the summer. The Senior Capstone Project in particular emphasizes service for the community with a minimum of sixteen hours of service. However, there are other opportunities to actually help others and make a difference. Simple things such as working for free at the Salvation Army, becoming a candy striper at the hospital, volunteering at a clinic at the Ohio State University medical center, or simply recycling are all possible ways to volunteer.

Everyone can make a difference and it is as easy as logging onto www.serve.gov, a government website backed by President Obama. This website calls for people of all ages to volunteer their services and make a difference across the country.

According to ServeOhio, the annual Make A Difference Day, is the nation’s largest day of citizens volunteering to make communities stronger. This year, the day will be on Oct. 23 and would be an opportunity for many UA teens to volunteer their services.


Halo Awards Host Nick Cannon presents winner Leah Stolz her award infront of her classmates.

There are many ways to get involved in UA, it is as simple as putting together a team of friends, family, peers, and coming together with a common goal. There are even ways to publicize the goal by registering the project online at ServeOhio in which donations could be made and volunteers could be recruited.

Maybe with more hard work earnest desire to give back, one lucky UA teen might be surprised with a helicopter ride with Robert Pattinson or Megan Fox next year. But first, it begins by practicing the strong Halo method of helping and leading others.