South Florida Girl Honored at TeenNick HALO Awards for Volunteer Work With Surfers for Autism

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 5:47 PM EDT
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The TeenNick HALO Awards winners with Nick Cannon. Miranda Fuentes is second from the right.

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A Pembroke Pines teen was honored by Nickelodeon, and celebs including Nick Cannon, for her volunteer work with Surfers for Autism at the TeenNick HALO Awards recently.

Miranda Fuentes, 16, and three other teens were recognized during the first live broadcast of the awards show – which stands for “Helping and Leading Others” – from the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Inspired by her younger brother Lucas, who has autism, Fuentes has volunteered for five years with Surfers for Autism, a South Florida-based group that uses surfing as hydrotherapy.

“I was extremely honored to receive this award! Being an active part of Surfers for Autism, something so important has been life-changing,” Fuentes said in a news release.

Hydrotherapy helps the kids that Surfers for Autism works with to open up and express themselves in a calming environment. The organization also strives to eliminate the social stigma around autism.

Fuentes was one of four teens honored for the impact they’re making in the lives of others at the fifth annual awards show. Enrique Iglesias, Austin Mahone and Dax Shepard were among the celebrities in attendance.

Fuentes’ entire family was also there.

“We are extremely proud of Miranda, she is an amazing girl that absolutely loves what she does!” said her father, Alfie Fuentes. “Nickelodeon is doing an amazing job recognizing today’s youth in such a positive way.”

For her win, Nickelodeon gave $10,000 to Surfers for Autism, and $10,000 for Fuentes’ education.

For more information about the group, visit www.surfersforautism.org.

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