LOS ANGELES — At the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, which aired Sunday, August 13, Vanessa Hudgens accepted the See Her Award, a title which honors a woman who displays exemplary character through philanthropy and “seeing a change” for women and girls. The 28-year-old actress is known for her ties with different national and global charities, including Habitat for Humanity, a world leader in addressing the issues of poor housing conditions, and Make-a-Wish, a nonprofit that aims to make a difference in the lives of kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
The See Her award honors the recipient for “pushing boundaries on changing stereotypes and embodying the fight for realistic female portrayals in media.” Hudgens’ acceptance speech touched on embracing individuality and uniqueness, empowering listeners in the audience and viewers at home. Though she took home the surfboard award, it is not the first instance that Hudgens’ philanthropy efforts have been acknowledged.
In addition to being recognized at the Teen Choice Awards, Hudgens’ philanthropy was recognized on other occasions. In 2012, the young star attended Variety’s Power of Youth Awards, which honors the top young talent in Hollywood each year to encourage fans to get involved in philanthropic and humanitarian causes.
Hudgens spoke out at the event in regard to her charitable relationships: “When I was about 16-years-old, I became involved with Make-A-Wish while filming High School Musical. We would have set visits with kids and I’ve been addicted to being a part of the organization ever since.” Make-A-Wish impacts the world by granting the wishes of children diagnosed with serious illnesses. In 2016, Make-A-Wish granted the wishes of nearly 15,300 kids.
Throughout the years, Hudgens has also stood as a celebrity supporter of Habitat for Humanity, which works to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Through home construction, disaster response and financial education, Habitat for Humanity helps to create a more solid foundation for families for long-term personal success, and to alleviate any struggles they have experienced in their lifetime.
Ultimately, it seems fitting that Hudgens’ philanthropy is recognized for the notable contributions she has made to several organizations, while simultaneously spreading messages of positivity and love and inspiring fans to follow in her footsteps.
– Mikaela Frigillana