Princeton student Leora Friedman has done some pretty amazing things with her nonprofit, Music is Medicine, which uses music to help young kids with serious illnesses. And for all her kindness, she got to be Darren Criss' date for the 2013 Video Music Awards!
Leora co-founded Music is Medicine at 15, and the main part of the org is a little something called Donate a Song, where a musician makes a totally new song for a sick child. Not only is it special for the child, but these songs can then be used to raise money for medical charities.
"Our mission is to pair artists with pediatric patients so the artists can use music to make a difference in these children’s lives," she explained to MTV Act. "As a result, both the artists and the patients receive life-changing experiences. We want everyone to know that any and all artists have the power to do this."
Darren first became aware of Leora’s awesome org from the mtvU show “Random Acts,” and then he gave her a $1,000 grant and asked her out to the VMAs. A “Glee” actor, a musical nonprofit, MTV, mtvU AND the VMAs? Of course this all came together! Leora got to do some serious stylin’ before the big show, and you can get a peek at that here:
Asked about her favorite part of the VMAs, she said, "Justin Timberlake blew me away. He performed for a long time, but never seemed to get tired! It was inspiring to see such a passionate, genuine artist take the stage and receive so many well-deserved honors. I especially loved when said he wants to share his Vanguard Award with *NSYNC. That was a special moment."
And what about Darren?
"Darren was a fantastic date!" Leora said. "Fashion-wise, I loved his purple suit and glitter shoes. But what made him such a great partner that night was his enthusiasm for the cause. It was a blast getting to talk about Music is Medicine with him, because he brought a lot of energy and fun to what we’re doing."
Even with Justin, Darren and all the glitter and glamor of the night, the cause was still the most important part. "The best part of the night was definitely walking down the red carpet with Darren Criss to promote Music is Medicine!" Leora said. "Speaking about our cause with Darren’s support was really a dream come true for me and our entire team. Hopefully we can ... make more dreams come true for more artists and patients around the world."