Nickelodeon‘s brand-new pro-social docu-series The HALO Effect will highlight a teen who is making a positive change in their community and inspiring others to do the same. The HALO Effect launched in 2013 as a year-round initiative recognizing one deserving teen every month for their work to help and lead others in their community. It was built upon Nickelodeon’s HALO Awards, an annual concert event honoring young community leaders with a grant for their organization and scholarship funds. Now, the new HALO Effect series will showcase these teens by giving an in-depth look into their inspirational stories behind the issues that surround their projects. In each 30-minute episode of The HALO Effect, the profiled teen will issue a “HALO Effect Challenge,” a call-to-action encouraging inspired viewers to participate in their cause and join the HALO movement.
To get ready for the premiere of the show, CelebSecrets4U spoke with Sydney Park (Instant Mom), the host of the series, to get the scoop on what viewers can expect from each episode. Sydney said we can expect to “catch the feel” in the premiere episode (“A Place to Sleep”) which stars 16-year-old Jessica Collins from Shelbyville, KY whose non-profit organization A Place to Sleep helps disadvantaged families in need of beds and bedding.
Sydney also told us about the ways in which these kids have inspired her and how she HALOs. Plus, she dishes on her New Year’s resolutions and her excitement over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter coming to LA’s Universal — make sure to check out our Q&A with Sydney below.
The HALO Effect premieres Monday, January 18, 2016 at 8PM ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
CS4U: One of our reporters spoke to you at the HALO Awards and you mentioned that you would be doing more work with Nick Cannon. The premiere date for The HALO Effect is quickly approaching, so what can you tell us about the docu-series and the role you play in it?
Sydney Park: “The HALO Effect is all about giving back to incredible kids who are making amazing changes in their community. I briefly talked about it on the carpet but then I formally announced it during the HALO Awards so it’s an extension of that and what we really wanted to do was instead of going all over the country and honoring some kids yearly, we’re just going to make it a monthly thing because these kids are the real celebrities to me and that’s the best part about my job. I go and visit these kids and surprise them, honor them and feature them on the series and that’s what’s so cool. The crew is out there for about a week wherever their hometown is and just documenting what they do for their organizations, any events that they’re preparing for, and so when I come in, it’s like a total surprise and their reactions are the best. I love it so much (laughs).”
CS4U: What can we expect from the premiere episode?
Sydney Park: “First episode you will catch the feel (laughs). You will definitely catch the feel. It’s one of those really feel good, inspiring shows and I think that’s what’s so cool about it. It gives Nickelodeon a different image I think. They’re always giving back and the HALO Awards is definitely a reflection of that, but I think The HALO Effect is definitely more personal so you can expect that.”
CS4U: Like the HALO Awards, The HALO Effect highlights teens making a positive change in their community and since you are the host, have these teens inspired you in any way? If so, how?
Sydney Park: “Oh they inspire me all the time. Whenever I meet the kids or just read about them, you know I get a whole biography of their life story, and some of these kids had started their organizations when they were like 11 years old and are still high school students and are balancing being a teenager and running their organizations like that is amazing to me. When I see how they HALO, help and lead others, it’s just so beautiful to see young people doing such inspiring work and it really inspires me to just spend time with them and whatever I can do — donate to my favorite charity or just something in my community that can help the world and make it a better place — I do because these kids are definitely doing that so that inspires me.”
CS4U: You have been working with HALO for quite some time now, what would you say has been your favorite memory from working on this project?
Sydney Park: “I would say my first year, I believe that was 2013, and Nick Cannon had me host the orange carpet and I think that was like my first really really big hosting gig and it was also my first year at HALO and that was what was so special about it. I’d always watched the show as a kid on Nickelodeon and it was just really surreal for me to be interviewing Kevin Jonas and all of these incredible celebrities and I’d just started out, so when Nick Cannon gave me that opportunity, I was just over the moon and he continues to give me opportunities so I’m truly blessed for that.”
CS4U: Do you have any advice for our readers if they want to get out and help their community, just like the teens on the HALO Effect?
Sydney Park: “I would say really research whatever you are passionate about whether it’s animals or young girls or domestic abuse like there are so many organizations out there that really can target what you are most passionate about, and if you can donate or just talk about it among your friends, get people aware. Spread kindness, spread love and just try to do your best every day.”
CS4U: Also Happy New Year! Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2016?
Sydney Park: “Oh I would definitely say to socialize more. 2015 was super busy for me. I mean I got opportunities to socialize but work can be so time consuming so I definitely want to socialize more and make more friends. Just say on my grind. I’m so ready for 2016. It’s treating me really well so far. Definitely just say keep my head straight and stay focused and have fun.”
CS4U: What can we expect from you project wise in the new year? Anything in addition to the HALO Effect?
Sydney Park: “I’m actually developing some projects for Nickelodeon. I will be producing shows for them. I recently got a development deal on that which is super super cool. I can’t say much but I got a couple film projects in the work so (laughs) you can look out for that.”
CS4U: You tweeted this week that you were excited for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to come to Universal in LA. Can you just talk about how excited you are for that?
Sydney Park: “I am so excited because I am such a Harry Potter fan. You guys don’t understand. That is my childhood. I look at those movies and I really am tempted to just spend a grand on Amazon and get a whole box set with the hat, with the wand, with the glasses like all of it because I’m just so excited. One of my really good friends, who is actually on Every Witch Way on Nickelodeon, we’re like Harry Potter dorks together and she actually is from Florida so she’s been to like the Hogwarts amusement park so I am dying for that to come here. I cannot wait. Oh my gosh.”
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U, can you tell us a secret about filming The HALO Effect?
Sydney Park: “The crew and I have to keep the check reveal a secret from the teen’s friends and family on location. No one knows what is about to happen until I reveal the check to the honoree.”