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Red Cross Youth Volunteer to be Honored with TeenNick HALO Award on Nickelodeon

Taylor Waters & Nick Cannon
A compassionate leader and aspiring teacher, 19-year-old Taylor Waters of Sanford, N.C., has always believed in giving back to her community and helping others in their time of need.

Taylor Waters, a former High School Heroes winner, was honored with a TeenNick HALO Award for her volunteer work with the American Red Cross in her hometown of Sanford, NC and for establishing a Red Cross Club at East Carolina University. The fourth annual HALO Awards show, hosted by Nick Cannon, aired as a 90-minute special, Monday, Nov. 19 on Nickelodeon’s Nick at Nite. As part of her award, Taylor was given a check for $10,000 for the Red Cross and another check for $10,000 as scholarship money to help complete her college education.

Recognizing real-life teens who are “Helping and Leading Others” (HALO), the fourth annual awards show pairs each honoree with a mega-celebrity who shares their commitment to service. For this honor, Taylor was matched with Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet member, Josh Duhamel, a passionate advocate and volunteer.

In support of Taylor’s accomplishments, Applebee’s Restaurant in Sanford hosted a private party for the Waters family, friends and local Red Cross representatives to watch the awards ceremony during the Nickelodeon broadcast Monday night.

Taylor Waters & Nick Cannon

Taylor and her family were in Los Angeles this weekend for the TeenNick HALO Awards taking place on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 at the Hollywood Palladium. The TeenNick HALO Awards is an on-air special, conceived, hosted and executive produced by Cannon, that recognizes and celebrates real teens who are "Helping and Leading Others" (HALO). Each TeenNick HALO Award honoree was surprised by a visit from Cannon, awarded a grant for their organization and given an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and connect with a celebrity who shares a similar passion for their cause. This year’s celebrity matches are Tyra Banks, Justin Bieber, Josh Duhamel and Emma Stone, and their taped segments will be presented at the live event.

A compassionate leader and aspiring teacher, Taylor’s belief in giving back to her community stems from her personal experiences with disaster. She continues to encourage youth involvement through her hometown American Red Cross and she is establishing her own Red Cross Club at East Carolina University. Waters’ HALO match is Josh Duhamel, who supports the disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross, as well as his hometown’s Minot Area Community Foundation in North Dakota which establishes permanently endowed funds to support both local and national charities and charitable causes.

BIO FOR TEENNICK HALO AWARD HONOREE – TAYLOR WATERS, 19

A compassionate leader and aspiring teacher, 19-year-old Taylor Waters of Sanford, N.C., has always believed in giving back to her community and helping others in their time of need.

In the spring of 2010, Taylor devoted her time and effort to raising money through a youth fundraising competition called High School Heroes. Through organizing events such as concerts and spaghetti lunches, Taylor raised over $7,000 in one month and won the competition. Taylor witnessed firsthand the emotional and mental toll the disaster had on her family. Later that year, tragedy stuck Taylor's family when a fire destroyed her grandmother's house. While her grandmother was unharmed, the disaster took a large emotional and mental toll on her entire family. Fortunately the American Red Cross was on the scene immediately to ease her grandmother’s discomfort and provide her access to valuable resources. Realizing how important Red Cross’s support and care was for her family, Taylor immediately knew she wanted to work with the Red Cross so she could do for others what the Red Cross did for her. That summer Taylor became a full time volunteer, working daily to support military families, assisting at blood drive and implementing her own fundraising competition for male peers. Through this competition, Taylor and her peers raised $32,000 in a little over a month.

In April 2011, a tornado hit her small town in North Carolina, destroying homes and businesses and devastating the community. Taylor immediately jumped in to help, working long hours giving out food, water and clothing and providing emotional support for those whose lives and homes were destroyed. Upon leaving for college and eager to continue her work, Taylor immediately joined the local chapter of the Red Cross near East Carolina University and hit the ground running to develop new strategies to solve an ongoing problem -- lack of youth involvement. She recently established her own Red Cross Club at her university. Now a member of the American Red Cross National Youth Council, Taylor is working with a network of teens across the country and brainstorming new ways get even more teens involved. Taylor strongly believes that youth are an integral part of community involvement and that is essential to harness their passion, energy and dedication to aid others.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.