09/24/2012 09:55 am ET Updated Nov 23, 2012

The Power of Young Hollywood

Watching movies, listening to music, following sports and catching up on my favorite TV shows are some of the things I enjoy doing in my free time when I am not at the racetrack. I would guess that these are popular hobbies for the majority of you and my generation in general. So exactly what are we learning from this lifestyle full of pop culture?

Not only do I enjoy watching movies, but also I have favorite actors and actresses. We jam to our favorite songs and new releases while subconsciously following the most popular musicians and artists. Once I hear a song I like, I am intrigued to find out who sang the song and learn more about them. Therefore, the celebrities we are attracted to instantly influence us, whether we realize it or not.

The media is constantly scrutinizing celebrities, and their every move is watched as if it is examined under a microscope. Mainstream media makes decisions to share certain things about the person, mostly resulting in negativity surrounding the celebrity.

I have noticed that there is a growing trend for musicians, actors and actresses to establish a name for themselves at a younger age and become celebrities early in their childhood. In today's world of pop culture, there are several influential youth debuting as celebrities. But I also can't help but notice that it isn't negativity from the media that is making these youth noticeable and talked about... It is something much more powerful!

This past weekend, Variety's 2012 Power of Youth event was held at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. The event celebrated celebrities and their efforts to make a difference with charity work that is special to them. The Jonas Brothers, Kat Graham, Vanessa Hudgens, Diego Boneta, Jordin Sparks and Sarah Hyland were a few of the celebrities recognized for their charitable work.

It is very inspiring to see young celebrities put their time and talents toward a charitable cause. I am proud to be a teenager in this generation of youth who inspire, lead and give back. These examples have encouraged me to use my career as a racecar driver to promote my platform of giving back as well. I'm most passionate about putting an end to distracted driving and bullying, and I work really hard to combat both.

It is easy for us to think we don't have enough time to volunteer or have something more important to do, but I encourage you to find even an hour of your time to find a cause you are passionate about and get involved with it. There are so many ways to make a difference whether that is getting involved with the celebrities' charity organizations, finding one of your own or just helping a friend in need. No act of kindness is too small. If the celebrities of our generation can do it, so can we.

The youth of today are very powerful individuals. We have a voice and we have the power to make a difference. It is up to us, though, to take the first step in finding our passion and exemplifying exactly how powerful we can be. What charities are you passionate about?