Teen Choice Award stuns Durham teen
Posted August 4, 2008 11:01 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2008 11:26 p.m. EDT
Los Angeles — A Durham teenager's efforts to snuff out teen smoking earned him a Teen Choice Award.
Chad Bullock took home the Do Something Award and $100,000 at Monday's 10th annual award ceremony. He beat out eight other finalists for the award.
"I was not expecting them to announce my name," Bullock said Tuesday after returning to Durham. "Dreams really do come true. It's cliché, but dreams really do come true."
Bullock started working with a Durham anti-smoking group after losing his grandfather to lung cancer. The 19-year-old wrote a letter to the state Attorney General that eventually helped change some tobacco ads.
He also helped with the effort to get the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to go smoke-free, and he said he hopes to get every ballpark in the country to follow that lead.
"Looking back then (when I started), I was quiet. I was shy. I wouldn't speak. I wouldn't do anything," he said.
Now, Bullock travels the globe to speak to teens about health problems associated with tobacco. He said he will use the $100,000 prize to enhance those efforts.
"Tobacco companies have millions, billions of dollars. This $100,000 is going to go a long way with youth making change in the country," he said.
Bullock said he is starting his own organization, called ElectriFYIed, to inspire other teens to fight for causes they are passionate about.
"Whatever cause you feel like, you go out and do that cause," he said.
The Teen Choice awards, which were selected by over 30 million votes cast online by teenagers, honor celebrities in TV, film, music, sports and fashion.
The awards show at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios Hollywood was hosted by 15-year-old teen queen Miley Cyrus, who picked up three awards. Cyrus kicked off the ceremony with a performance of her new single "7 Things."