Best of 2012: Top 8 Change-Making Moments on MTV

Photos: (MTV)

In 2012, the MTV fam helped you perfect the fist pump, made you aware that you weren’t the only one out there “Underemployed,” and proved that “Awkward.” can get wayyy awkward-er. They’ve also broken boundaries and helped create change! As 2012 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the risk-taking and action-taking MTV took his year.

+ Vinny Guadagnino Sparks Dialogue on Wellness

Anxiety disorders affect about 18% of Americans, and Vinny from “Jersey Shore” knows how it feels to suffer from major anxiety. But in 2012, he made a point of talking about his anxiety to help other people overcome theirs. While his anxiety did lead him to take a break from the “Jersey Shore” house, it also led him to writing his self-help book “Control the Crazy: My Plan to Stop Stressing, Avoid Drama, and Maintain Inner Cool.”

+ Diem Brown Bravely Takes On Cancer, Again

You know Diem Brown from “The Challenge,” but did you know that Diem has also successfully battled cancer? She was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time, and that led to her MTV special “Surviving Cancer with Diem Brown.” In it, Diem talks with other young female cancer survivors about their struggles and triumphs dealing with the big C. “I never wanted cancer to stop me,” Diem says.

+ Youth Shatter HIV Myths on “I’m Positive”

For World AIDS Day on December 1, MTV premiered its “I’m Positive” special, which follows the lives of three young people who are HIV positive. It used to be that people who were HIV positive lived in shame and secrecy, but along with MTV, they helped push away the negative stereotypes, showed the reality of what it’s like to have HIV, and encouraged you to get yourself tested so you know your own status with HIV.

+ Demi Lovato Inspires on “Stay Strong”

Demi Lovato had some struggles in her life, but she’s living proof that struggles can be overcome. Her road to recovery was shown in the MTV doc “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong,” which aired last March. And not only has Demi stayed strong, she’s become one of our most popular and inspiring MTV Act do-gooder stars, picking up this year’s moonman for Best Video With A Message.

+ MTV Honored By Trevor Project

Photo: (Flickr/Tim Stusiak)

MTV has been a big supporter of LGBT rights, including going purple on Spirit Day. And at MTV Act, we’re big fans of the Trevor Project, which works on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. So it was a thrill and an honor when the Trevor Project awarded MTV with the Trevor 2020 Award. The Trevor Project said it made this choice because, among other reasons, MTV was the first to show an openly gay person with HIV/AIDS on TV (with Pedro Zamora in “The Real World”) and its documentaries like “Coming Out” and “It Gets Better.”

+ President Obama Answers Your Questions Live

It was important to MTV to get young people out to vote in the 2012 election, and that’s why Power of 12 was launched. When it was getting close to Election Day, MTV invited both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney for special interviews. Governor Romney did not take MTV up on this offer, but President Obama did, and this led to “Ask Obama Live: An MTV Interview with the President,” where the prez answered questions specifically sent in to him by our closest friends — you!

+ “Jersey Shore” Cast Restores the Shore

After Hurricane Sandy devastated part of the country, MTV got involved with “Restore the Shore.” The live fundraiser aired online and on-air featuring MTV talent, and money was gathered up to give to Architecture for Humanity to rebuild New Jersey. A bunch of celebs made cameos, and stars from MTV shows called back people who donated to thank them. You can still make a donation by taking action below!

+ “Teen Mom” Bids Farewell

In October, MTV aired the “Teen Mom Farewell Special,” where the moms could talk about what they’ve learned from their experiences being young mothers. The hope behind “Teen Mom” is to show teens the realities of young parenthood, because taking care of a baby is haaard work, to say the least. According to one study, 82% of teens who have seen the show said it helped them understand the challenges associated with teenage parenthood. MTV Act also put together a “Teen Mom” Mythbusters quiz to make sure you know what’s a myth and what’s real when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancy. Be sure to take it below!

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