The Teen Choice Awards are just around the corner, coming to your TV screen August 4th at 8PM on FOX. Hosted by teen superstar Miley Cyrus, stars like Taylor Swift (famous for country songs like “Our Song” and “Teardrops on My Guitar) and Ben Barnes (Narnia hottie, who plays Prince Caspian) are up for awards. Additionally this year, the Teen Choice Awards is giving out $100,000 to a teen who makes a difference in today’s world.
The nominees are:
Chad Bullock: This 19-year-old from North Carolina is fighting tobacco one butt at a time. After losing family members to lung cancer, Chad got involved in anti-tobacco activism. He works in politics (convincing the attorney general to take action against tobacco ads aimed at kids), with corporations, and with 15,000 peers. He even turned the Durham Bulls Arena into a smoke-free facility.
Caitlin Cohen: She’s involved with the Mali Health Organizing Project. Even though she’s only 22, she’s helped 60,000 people get the education and medical attention they deserve in Mali by talking to the Mali government.
Kathryn Cunningham: This Pennsylvania girl actually volunteered at a hospital in Gambia. She helped perform an emergency medical procedure by candlelight. She became active in helping the people in Gambia after seeing a newborn die due to the lack of electricity. Her company, Power Up Gambia, provides solar panels to Gambia.
Kjerstin Erickson: Kjerstin saw the impact of war first hand when she traveled to Botswana. Her heart breaking, she decided to take action. Her project, FORGE, has helped over 60,000 refugees in over 60 communities in five different countries.
Dallas Jessup: This Tae Kwon Do black belt may only be 16, but she’s a lot more powerful than her petite figure. After multiple attacks in her neighborhood, she taught teens how to defend themselves. Her video has been distributed 750,000 times.
Pat Pedraja: Our younger contestant, 13, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 10. Being in a minority, there were no donors in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry that matched him. He watched many other people die due to the lack of donors. Pat drove cross-country (32 cities) with his mom to get attention to this problem. He raised $140,000 and added 7,000 donors. Pretty impressive at 13.
Zander Srodes: Being a Florida boy, Zander watched endangered sea turtles mate every year, but the numbers were going down. He wanted to set an example for the younger generation, so he made over 100,000 activity books for kids in elementary school. It’s in four languages and completely free.
Adam Sterling: It is well known that there is a genocide in Sudan right now. Adam has an ancestry of genocide victims and couldn’t stand the idea of a genocide. He encourages companies to stop investing in Sudan, and nine of them have. He hopes the economic pressure will stop the genocide. The president signed a bill that he drafted and lobbied. Adam is now mentioned in the documentary “Darfur Now.”
Daniel Zoughbie: Daniel lost his grandmother due to diabetes. The hospital she was at in Palestine didn’t have the technology to help her. Remembering her, he started the Global Micro-Clinic to help the poor people in the Middle East. There are now 70 micro-clinics. He has invested $700,000 dollars in this project.
Be sure to visit DoSomething, a site that celebrates teens making a difference. Be sure to watch for the Teen Choice winner on August 4th. You can vote everyday. I personally like Adam Sterling, but my money’s on Pat Pedraja to win. Regardless of who wins, the $100,000 will go a long way.