MTV PRESENTS: SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE'S "PRETTY AMAZING CONTEST" TO HONOR FIVE ASTONISHING YOUNG WOMEN IN A HALF-HOUR SPECIAL PREMIERING TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 AT 8:00 P.M. ET/PT
Five Finalists Chosen For Their Inspirational Stories to Compete in a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Land a Cover of Seventeen Magazine
Santa Monica, CA (August 8, 2011) - MTV announced today their partnership with Seventeen Magazine for their first annual televised "Pretty Amazing" contest. Seventeen challenged readers nationwide to tell their amazing stories of why they deserve to be the first reader featured on a cover of Seventeen Magazine. The half-hour special will premiere Tuesday, August 30 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.
Seventeen Magazine chose five girls out of 35,000 entries to fly to New York City to compete for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, to compete and ultimately be named Seventeen's "Pretty Amazing" October cover girl. The celebrity judges, Ann Shoket (Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen magazine), Miranda Cosgrove (Nickelodeon's iCarly), and Jared Eng (founder of justjared.com) evaluated the girls based on their charisma, poise, unique and moving stories and how they represented the Seventeen brand. Tune-in on Tuesday, August 30 to see which amazing girl landed an October cover of Seventeen Magazine.
Meet the Five "Pretty Amazing" finalists:
From Homeless to High Fashion!
Zoe Damacela grew up in a low-income family with a single mother - and lived in homeless shelters at points in her life. Part Ecuadorian and part Afro-Mexican, Zoe has always been passionate about fashion and becoming an entrepreneur, she learned to sew early on and has been running a successful clothing business, Zoe Damacela Apparel, since she was 14. Zoe's motivation comes from her desire to create a better life for herself and family. Now a student at Northwestern University, Zoe designs and sells clothes from her dorm room and through her site: Zoedamacela.com. She sold her first dress for $13, but now her custom-made designs sell for as much as $300 each! She has sold more than 300 one-of-a-kind pieces to girls and women, including dresses for weddings, proms, homecoming dances, and quinceaneras. Her success has taken her to Oprah's web site, C-SPAN, the Tyra Banks Show, and even the White House to meet President Obama! Zoe also donates clothing to homeless shelters and charity fashion shows. Fashion helped her transform her life, and she hopes it can help transform another girl like her.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The Fearless Racecar Driver!
With over 100 race wins in a male-dominated sport, Shannon won't take her foot off the gas until she becomes the first female to win the Indy 500. She has been racing cars since the age of five with her family and turned professional around the age of 17, when she found sponsorship. She now competes in the INDYCAR USF2000 Series, working her way up the ladder to try to compete in the Indy 500 someday. She is the only female driver in her series and is the only American female who is trying to climb this ladder. For that reason, she says she gets a lot of attention. From an early age, she knew she was different than everyone else, and individualism is something that continues to give her confidence. Her life motto: Never ever, ever give up. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you believe it yourself and put your mind to something, you can do it. By following her heart, Shannon defied expectations and proved that she can race as well as any guy on the track. She wants to make sure that every girl out there knows that they should reach for their dreams - even if their path is not well-worn.
Name: Lauren Lindberg
City: Danville, California
Making Movies That Matter To Teens!
When she developed ADD and depression in high school, Lauren was in a funk. Her grades were down, she withdrew from friends and family, and she didn't know how to express herself. But taking high school film classes and joining an after-school program called the Bay Area Video Coalition sparked her passion for making movies. Over the past few years, she's been creating documentaries nonstop. She's most inspired by issues that affect teens. "Teen topics mean something to me, and allow me to connect to the people in my films on a personal level," she says. Her most prized work is a documentary she made about blind teens at The Hatlen Center for the Blind in California. She wanted to show others that blind teens have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else - and are capable of achieving their goals. The film was accepted to 12 film festivals and she also has plans to make films about teen suicide and body image in the future. "My sister is in the eighth grade and she's almost six feet tall. And she's so self-conscious about it. She thinks guys will never like her and she puts down her body. That really gets to me, because she has so much to offer. It's sad that she feels that way, so I'd like to shed light on that issue." Lauren doesn't want her movies to make her rich and famous - she wants them to raise awareness and help teens. She'd one day like to start a production company called "World Voices" that would help teens around the globe who have stories, but aren't able to share them.
Name: Ann He
City: Dallas, TX
The Hobbiest Turned Fashion Blogger Star!
The beauty that Ann captures with her camera is a reflection of how she sees the world. Through her art, she hopes to inspire creativity in others. What started as a hobby has turned into a flourishing business - and Ann's photos are getting her heaps of praise from fashion blogs, like TrendLand.net and Lulus.com. Getting her start by hiring models on ModelMayhem.com and working with them for free, Ann built up a portfolio of work on Flickr, which attracted clients. She's only 16 but her photos are so striking that she's already been hired by magazines, brides, and Nike. She was even invited to display her work in a gallery at the famous Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon. She believes that photos have the power to move and touch others. She'll play with wardrobe, colors, and lighting to create a mood that might make someone think, laugh, or even cry. Many of her photos have a nostalgic feel to them.
Name: Nina Montgomery
City: Hanover, NH
Standing Up Against Online Abuse!
When her former high school classmate, Tyler Clementi, jumped off the George Washington Bridge last year after his fellow Rutgers student secretly filmed and broadcasted him getting intimate with another man, Nina was devastated. "He was the type of kid who always had a smile on his face. It's disgusting to me that kids can be so cruel to someone," she says. That tragic incident only fueled Nina's desire to combat cyberbullying even more. She's been speaking out against online abuse since middle school. In the sixth grade, she became a volunteer spokesperson for Wired Safety, the largest Internet education organization in the world. She has traveled to 20 schools giving presentations about cyberbullying, has proposed legislation to Congress, has addressed the topic on Dr. Phil, TODAY, and Good Morning America, and has helped the FBI track down Internet Predators. When she became Junior Miss New Jersey in 2010, ending digital abuse was her platform. She even collaborated with her college (Dartmouth), MTV, myYearbook, Dr. Phil, and Wired Safety to create a national anti-bullying campaign, "Don't Stand By, Stand Up." She's proud to say that the campaign has gotten over 10,000 "likes" on Facebook, 10 universities have started local chapters, and nearly 20,000 people have pledged to support the cause. She's determined to keep speaking up about this important issue until online abuse stops - for good.
"Pretty Amazing" is executive produced by David Goffin and Adam Reno from Vimby, a Mark Burnett company, and Ann Shoket from Seventeen Magazine, Hearst Magazine.
Seventeen (www.seventeen.com) is the best-selling monthly teen magazine, reaching more than 13 million readers every month. In each issue, Seventeen reports on the latest in fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, as well as information and advice on the complex real-life issues that young women face every day. Readers can interact with the brand on the digital front, with the Seventeen Ultimate Fashion Flipbook iphone app as well as with the monthly edition of the magazine on the iPad. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Seventeen publishes 13 editions around the world. Seventeen is published by Hearst Magazines, one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies. Once it completes its acquisition of Lagard�re SCA's 100 titles in 14 countries outside of France, Hearst Magazines will publish more than 300 editions around the world, including 20 U.S. titles. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation and reaches 88 million adults (Spring 2010 MRI).
VIMBY (Video In My BackYard), a Mark Burnett company, is a video production studio with a local-national production infrastructure consisting of network TV producers and storytellers strategically situated in cities across the country. VIMBY's local infrastructure is highly efficient in telling authentic stories that are often at the cutting edge of trends and ideas both locally and nationally. Trained with the highest production standards, VIMBY's videos are broadcast quality and built for multiple distribution platforms. VIMBY's Los Angeles based studio combined with local assets delivers an economical advantage versus traditional media. Headquartered in Los Angeles, VIMBY's executives have extensive experience in producing reality based programming for broadcast television and the Web. VIMBY's global clients include Macy's, General Mills, Pepsi, VW, Ray Ban, Toyota, MSN, Puma, among many others. For more information, go to www.VIMBY.com.
MTV is the world's premier youth entertainment brand. With a global reach of more than a half-billion households, MTV is the cultural home of the millennial generation, music fans and artists, and a pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people. MTV reflects and creates pop culture with its Emmy(R), Grammy(R) and Peabodyc award-winning content built around compelling storytelling, music discovery and activism across TV, online and mobile. MTV's sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unparalleled customized content for young males, music fans and college students, and its online hub MTV.com is the leading destination for music, news and pop culture. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.