American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Celebrity Ambassador Quvenzhané Wallis Honored at Variety’s 7th Annual Power of Youth Event

Variety honors Hollywood’s philanthropic entertainers at Power of Youth event

July 31, 2013 Categories: Program News

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2013 - Variety, the leading entertainment trade publication in the US and in operation since 1905, honored American Heart Association Teaching Gardens celebrity ambassador Quvenzhané Wallis last week at their seventh annual Variety’s Power of Youth event held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on July 27th, 2013. Quvenzhané Wallis, age 9, received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild and is currently filming for the lead role in the 2014 release of Annie.

As a Power of Youth honoree and Teaching Gardens celebrity ambassador, Quvenzhané had the opportunity to share with the hundreds of event attendees about the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens program which encourages healthy diets in young children while helping to combat childhood obesity. She also helped promote the message that when children garden, they grow since kids who plant their own fruits and veggies are more likely to eat them. Entertaining and lifestyle expert Liza Utter provided healthy snacks at the Teaching Garden booth for event attendees.

The goal of Variety’s Power of Youth initiative is to encourage the next generation of entertainers to support the philanthropic and humanitarian causes closest to their hearts – and to use their positions in popular culture to encourage their peers and millions of fans who look up to them to do the same. Other Power of Youth honorees include Jake T. Austin (Ronald McDonald House), Abigail Breslin (Project Sunshine), Nina Dobrev (Free the Children) and Tyler Posey (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).

This year’s event, produced in conjunction with Variety’s annual Youth Impact Report, featured an exclusive afternoon of festivities, live performances and an awards presentation. The evening celebrated this select group of outstanding young entertainers, chosen to receive the Variety Power of Youth generation Award, who, through their efforts, have made significant contributions to their chosen philanthropic and charitable causes. The guest list was comprised of 500 invite-only guests made up of the “who’s who” of under-25 actors, actresses and recording artists, industry executives and their families and the children and families directly affected by our honorees’ benefitting charities.

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Teaching Gardens

American Heart Association Teaching Gardens are designed to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity. Nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese. The Teaching Gardens is a school garden program designed for elementary school students and includes a curriculum that provides integrated holistic garden-related classroom lessons and activities for teaching nutrition, math, science, and language arts. The program provides a real-life laboratory where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest crops and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits. It encompasses a core belief that when you educate children about nutritional choices and challenge them to make small changes to improve their health, they will teach their families and others. Noted health activist Kelly Meyer founded the Teaching Gardens program in 2010 out of concern for America’s childhood obesity crisis. She now works as a volunteer in partnership with the association as the program expands nationwide. To learn more please visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Kailey Shatzer