Variety Power of Youth 2012

Variety Salutes Young Hollywood: The Jonas Brothers, Kat Graham, Jordin Sparks, Sarah Hyland, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta



Clearly the world’s future is in good hands, if the dedication to charitable causes that was evident at the Sept. 15 “Variety Power of Youth” is any indication. 

On that day, some of Hollywood’s hottest young celebrities filled the backlot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, despite the record-setting heat in downtown Los Angeles, where temperature reached 103 degrees by mid-afternoon. (Check the photo gallery below for 30+ pictures from this extraordinary event.)

The estimated 750 guests came to pay tribute to eight of today’s most acclaimed twentysomething stars, all of them philanthropists, who are setting an example for the next generation with their concern and efforts toward finding cures for illnesses, bringing clean water to the world and relieving the suffering of others.

Graciously accepting honors were Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas, aka The Jonas Brothers, for their own “Change for the Children Foundation;” Vanessa Hudgens of “High School Musical” for the ”Make a Wish Foundation;” “American Idol” champ Jordin Sparks of “Sparkle” for “I’m M.A.D, Are You? For ChildHelp;” Diego Boneta of “Rock of Ages” for the “Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer & Hematology Clinic,” Kat Graham of “The Vampire Diaries” for “The Water Project;” and Sarah Hyland of “Modern Family” for the “George Lopez Foundation.”

Presented by the Cartoon Network, and hosted by Gaelan Connell, Connor del Rio, Jessie T. Usher and Aimee Carrero of the network’s “Level Up,” official ceremonies boasted an equally star-studded line-up to introduce the honorees. Handing out awards were Michael Urie of “Ugly Betty;” director Kenny Ortega of the “High School Musical” films, Derek Luke of “Sparkle,” director Adam Shankman of “Rock of Ages;” Michael Trevino of “The Vampire Diaries;” and TV’s George Lopez of “Lopez Tonight.”  

Variety publisher Brian Gott welcomed the crowd and the official ceremonies began.

“Vanessa’s heart is as big as her smile is radiant,” said Kenny Ortega of Vanessa Hudgens.

“(The Jonas Brothers) are setting an example for anyone out there by being the best they can be,” said Michael Urie of Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas and Nick Jonas after ticking off the names of all they charities they support, calling them “literally every charity there is.” 

“There’s one attribute that separates a star from a superstar and Jordin has that – a big heart,” said Derek Luke of Jordin Sparks.

Paramount’s backlot provided a perfect backdrop to showcase these causes and others along the New York streets. Also within reach were hot dogs, pizza, French fries, cupcakes and most important that day: chilled soft drinks and plenty of water. Plus there were games of skill, T-shirt decorating, a photo booth with props from Wonderbook’s “Book of Spells,” and more.

Familiar faces were everywhere: Stephen Lunsford of “Teen Wolf” stopped for cotton candy, as did Erin Sanders of “Big Time Rush,” and singers Savvy & Mandy aka Savannah Shay Burhoe and Amanda Quinn Burhoe.

Zachary Gordon of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” Luke Benward of “Minutemen,” Khylin Rhambo, of “Ender’s Game” and many others happily posed for photos with their fans. On request, Blake Michael of “Lemonade Mouth” autographed several T-shirt sleeves.

As an aside, by now I’ve spent a considerable amount of time around young celebrities and it’s always a joy to see how much they seem to enjoy meeting their fans – never hesitating to pose for pictures or to sign autographs. In addition, there seems to be a real interest in playing their part to improve the world. 

For Allstate’s “X the TXT” campaign, prominent on the lot, many made a pledge not to text while driving. And for anyone who doubted the wisdom of doing so, several cars were available to demonstrate the dangers.

“I almost hit a baby carriage,” said Jesse LeBeau of his “texting” test drive.  “It scared me – it’s not what I want to be remembered for.”  

Also on site was a Ford Focus, so guests could document their dedication by planting their thumbprint beside their autograph on the driver’s door and side panels.

Taylor Gray of “Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures,”Billy Unger of “Lab Rats,” Olivia Holt of “Kickin’ It,” and Dylan Riley Snyder of “Life During Wartime” all said they took the pledge.

Chanelle Peloso, Shauna Case and Shameik Moore of “The Incredible Crew” said they took the pledge, too. 

“I’m about to do it,” said China Anne McClain of “A.N.T. Farm,”

Nor was drunk driving ignored. Anyone at the block party could also try walking a straight line while wearing “fatal vision” goggles, which simulated intoxication.  

Also among the many young stars enjoying the day were Blake Jenner, winner of “The GLEE Project;” Ariana Grande (in a super-cool sundress) and Leon Thomas III of “Victorious,” Rachel Fox of “Desperate Housewives” in a crisp white frock; Ashley Rickards of “Awkward” in a glam hot-pink number; Jordan Fisher of “Teen Beach Musical,” Jillian Clare of “Miss Behave,” Laine MacNeil of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” Bailee Madison of “Bridge to Terabetha,” Callan McAuliffe of “I Am Number Four,” Cassie Scerbo of “Make It or Break It,” Christian Serratos of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” Dominic Scott Kay of “Minority Report,” and Dylan Minnette of “Awake.”

More were Debby Ryan of “Jessie” enjoying the festivities; Audrey Whitby and Allisyn Arm of “So Random!,” Elizabeth Stanton of “Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World,” Booboo Stewart of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Adam Irigoyen of “Shake It Up!,” Katie Leclerc and Maiara Walsh of “Switched at Birth;” Kiernan Shipka of “Mad Men,” Fivel Stewart of “Pit Fighter,” Christopher Massey of “Zoey 101,” Kyle Massey of “That’s So Raven,” G Hannelius of “Dog With a Blog,”  Jennifer Veal of “As the Bell Rings,” and Daphne Blunt of “Look of the Week.”

There, too, were musician/actor Jimmy Bennett of “No Ordinary Family,” Ryan Ochoa of “Pair of Kings,” Joey King of “Ramona and Beezus,” Taylor Spreitler of “Melissa and Joey,” Tyrel Jackson Williams and Kelli Berglund of Lab Rats,” Benjamin Stockham of “Quarantine,” Riley Thomas Stewart of “The Lucky One,” Annie Thurman of “The Hunger Games,”  Ava Allan of “Becoming,” Hannah Marks of “The Amazing Spider Man,” Paul James Jordan of “Piranha,” and Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis.

Note: Variety surely knows how to pick great honorees. Last year’s group included Darren Criss of “Glee,” Hayden Panetierre of “Heroes,” Bailee Madison of “Just Go With It,” Hailee Steinfeld of “True Grit,” Chloe Moretz of “Hugo,” Rico Rodriguez of “Modern Family” and Angus T. Jones of “Two and a Half Men.” Click here to read about the 2011 Variety Power of Youth.

Sony Computer Entertainment America also sponsored the event, with additional support from the Ford Motor Company and Coca Cola.


Top photo: From left, Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) Kat Graham, Jordin Sparks, Sarah Hyland, Vanessa Hudgens and Diego Boneta (photo: Kevin Winter/ WireImage, courtesy of Variety Power of Youth)

Second photo: From left, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas and Kevin Jonas with Michael Urie for Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta, Kat Graham and Sarah Hyland (photo: Joe Scarnici/ WireImage, courtesy of Variety Power of Youth)

Third photo: Jordin Sparks and Derek Luke, both of “Sparkle,” for Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks and Other Young Stars (photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage, courtesy of Variety Power of Youth)

Fourth photo: After accepting her award for philanthropy, Kat Graham performed onstage for Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta, Kat Graham and Sarah Hyland

Fifth photo: Vanessa Hudgens accepts her award for Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta, Kat Graham and Sarah Hyland

Sixth photo: Brooke Hester, one of the younger guests at the block party meets from left, Diego Boneta, Sarah Hyland and Vanessa Hudgens after the awards ceremony for Variety Power of Youth 2012 honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta, Kat Graham and Sarah Hyland



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Variety Power of Youth 2012 Honors Jonas Brothers Jordin Sparks and Other Young Stars

Published Sept. 17, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA