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Halo Awards Continues to be a Night of Inspiration

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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.

 

 

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Drake Releases Most Important Project of His Career

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Today Drake released the visual for his song, “God’s Plan”. In this video, it showcases Drake giving back to communities, schools & even families in more ways than one. Whether it was signing checks for scholarships, paying for grocery bills or just handing stacks of cash to families, the 6 God decided to use the million dollar budget given for the video to instead, give it all away. 

It’s empowering to see celebrities use their platforms for good and to give back to those in need.

Drake, in case no one has told you yet – you’re doing amazing sweetie.

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‘The Real’ Surprises Staff Member at Community Academy of Philadelphia

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Jeannie Mai, co-host from The Real took over Philadelphia to surprise a special staff member from the Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School. The Assistant Operations Manager, Vilma Ray (also known to everyone as grandmom Ray) has dedicated over 16 years of her life serving the children and staff at Community Academy. She’s held multiple jobs for the school, to name a few – she’s driven the bus, mowed the lawns, cleaned up after students, supervised discipline room and the federal lunch program. Regardless of whatever the job was, big or small – she’s said to have completed each task with a smile on her face.

 

“Momma Ray is a miracle worker” – Alberta O’Brien, High School Principal.

 

 
Everyone that comes into grandmom’s Ray life, she is known to impact them in an empowering way. When needed, she is always a ray of sunshine and the backbone for everyone. It is because of this, Jeannie Mai came to the school to surprise and honor grandmom Ray for her years of service and commitment. Grandmom Ray originally thought she was randomly selected to play their infamous “Dimestore to Deluxe” game but little did she know there was a huge surprise for her at the end. Check out the segment of #TheRealOnTheRoad Philadelphia below:

 

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Why Being Kind is Too Much Sauce

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You’re probably already aware that your smile could change someone’s day. We hear it all of the time: Smile. Be kind. Be courteous. Use manners.  But would you believe it if I told you that your smile could change someone’s life?

It can. Because it’s not just the smile, it’s also what comes with it. The confidence, the happiness, the positive vibes and energy that are released into world that may translate to a silent affirmation for someone else.

Smile, because you never know who’s watching feeding off of you. It’s a small act of kindness with a big impact on both the giver and the receiver.

via GIPHY

And when it comes to small acts of kindness, too often we underestimate the power of them.

When you do things that aren’t required of you in hopes of helping or uplifting a person you know nothing about, not only does it become infectious, but the world finds a way to bring that goodness back around to you.

When Florida State University football player, Travis Rudolph, recently ate lunch with Bo Paske, an autistic boy who sat alone in the cafeteria, he could not have fathomed the national attention that small act of his was about to garner.

Not only did he help to bring more awareness to the autistic community, but he changed the lives of both Bo and his mother, and caught the attention of the media and sports community that will only prove to be beneficial to his career.
And all of this sparked from a picture he didn’t even know was being taken.

Again, you never know who’s watching you.

The powerful possibilities that come with randomly doing something nice for people are endless and rewarding. You could simply change their day by lifting their spirits or you could change their way of thinking about both the world and others.

Not only are acts of kindness significant, but they’re really easy to practice. Here are five ways you can be kind to someone today:

  1. Hand write a thank you note: handwritten anything is becoming so rare that taking the time to do so in the form of a thank you note will be sure to linger in the mind of the receiver.
  2. Support a dream or positive venture: You see it on your Facebook or Twitter timeline all of the time. Someone asking you to “like” their new business page or fill out a brief survey for their new idea. How long does it really take to do something like this? Do it.
  3. Compliment someone: You never know the kind of day someone is having. Write a compliment on your waiter or cashier’s receipt. Tell your coworker how great they are at their job. Tell the person on the train next to you how much you love their hair.
  4. Tell someone you appreciate them: It’s so easy to go on about our days expecting to receive certain things from certain people. Whether that’s money from mom or an invitation from your friend, tell that person you appreciate them for playing a positive role in your life.
  5. Smile: Like Nike, just do it.

 

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