×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jake T. Austin for Ronald McDonald House New York: Variety Power of Youth Honoree

'Wizards,' 'Fosters' thesp aims to help kids get involved and get educated about cancer

Acting since he was just 7, Jake T. Austin says he grew up doing funny voices and constantly trying to entertain.

The actor made a name for himself in Disney’s hit series “Wizards of Waverly Place” as the youngest sibling of Selena Gomez’s character. In addition to appearing in the new ABC Family series “The Fosters” and such movies as “Hotel for Dogs,” he has also parlayed his love of inventing characters into a thriving voiceover career. (Listen for him in “Rio,” its sequel and Nickelodeon’s “Go, Diego, Go!”)

For the native New Yorker, his affiliation with Ronald McDonald House has been important both personally and professionally: “The fact that my mom’s an oncology nurse means I’ve been very close to the world of cancer, and it’s not something to tiptoe away from,” he says. “So I’m using my position as a platform to bring a message to kids: to get involved, whether it be donating or educating themselves about the cause.”

SEE MORE: Variety Power of Youth Party Amps Kid Champs

Austin, who’s been an official youth ambassador for the org for two years, reports that he wanted to attach himself to Ronald McDonald House “because it spoke to my personality and my roots. We had a close family friend who just passed away from cancer, and I was in awe watching the courage and strength some of these patients have.”

SEE MORE: Hollywood Kids: How Do Young Actors Deal With Sexy, Violent Roles?

Austin’s involvement includes the cause’s annual Charity House Gala in New York and several fairs and carnivals held to raise donations and awareness. “And I make it a point to visit the House and reconnect with a lot of kids whenever I can,” he says.

SEE MORE: Variety’s Power of Youth Honorees:

More Biz

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Las Vegas to Host Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • Michael Avenatti

    Michael Avenatti Arrested on Bank Fraud and Extortion Charges

    Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday and is facing federal charges on both coasts of bank fraud, misappropriating client funds, and trying to extort Nike. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege that Avenatti tried to extract more than $20 million from Nike, and said that if the company did not pay him, [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content