7 years in and the #HALOAwards continues to be a strong inspirational night that celebrates young leaders around the world. Nick Cannon created this concert event with the vision of having a platform where young people that are impacting their communities in a positive way are treated like a star by the stars.
This years’ event featured performances from various artists such as Tori Kelly and Walk the Moon along with a special appearance by pop icon Justin Bieber (who was presented with the first-ever HALO Hall of Fame Award).
The four honorees celebrated at this years’ Halo Awards are:
Ethan Cruikshank, 16, Mechanicsville, Va. ‐ A guitar player since the age of seven, Ethan Cruikshank was inspired to start Music to My Ears after his school cut music education funding. Since then, Cruikshank’s music program has helped over 100 kids across four states by providing free music lessons through volunteer teachers and distributing instruments to those who can’t afford them.
Riley Gantt, 15, Sherman Oaks, Calif. – Riley Gantt’s organization Rainbow Pack was born out of her desire to provide kids with the supplies they need to do their homework and be successful learners, regardless of their economic circumstances. With funds raised through fundraising, grants, social media and school supply drives, she has successfully donated over 9000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids in the Los Angeles area.
Joshua Williams, 14, Miami Beach, Fla. – Joshua Williams’ commitment to eradicate hunger started with a roadside donation to a starving man when he was four and a half years old. Through William’s organization, Joshua’s Heart Foundation, he designed a food distribution system in local churches, schools and community centers, and continues to raise awareness of hunger and poverty at speaking engagements. He has distributed over 1.1 million pounds of food in South Florida, Jamaica and Africa to date, and helped feed over 50,000 people nationwide.
Ruchita Zaparde, 18, Plainsboro, N.J. ‐ After a family trip to India exposed Ruchita Zaparde to the plight of widows and the difficulties they faced, she started Sew A Future to help those women achieve financial stability by becoming seamstresses. Zaparde identifies widows in need in India, delivers sewing machines and supplies, and connects the kids who are fundraising in the U.S. to the recipients. Over 200 families have been raised out of poverty with the gift of a sewing machine, thanks to the fundraising efforts of over 1400 students in 30 states.
“There’s no better way to begin the holiday season than by celebrating the amazing work of these four teens and our first HALO Hall of Fame recipient Justin Bieber at the Nickelodeon HALO Awards. Justin’s commitment to granting wishes for kids is unparalleled, and his ability to inspire and lead others through his positive actions is at the core of what HALO is all about.” – Nick Cannon
The Nickelodeon Halo Awards will air Sunday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), across Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nicktoons, TV Land, CMT, Nick.com and the Nick App.
Now signing off with the reminder: Don’t wait for the world to recognize your greatness, live it and let the world catch up to you.