America's Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho is coming back to television in a new TLC special

By Dave Quinn
July 20, 2017 10:30 AM
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America’s Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho is returning to television in a new TLC special.

The 17-year-old singer, who made headlines in January when she agreed to sing the National Anthem at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, will lead Growing Up Evancho, an hour-long program following her life at home.

All of Jackie’s family will be featured on the show, including mom Lisa, 50, dad Mike, 47, and siblings Rachel, 13, Zach, 15, and Juliet, 19.

Juliet has become a star of her own, publicly coming out as a transgender woman in an exclusive October 2015 PEOPLE interview.

She and Jackie have been outspoken about transgender rights since, and last fall, Juliet even filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against her Pennsylvania high school after she and her trans peers were barred from using the bathrooms of their choice. (A judge granted a preliminary injunction allowing Juliet and her fellow trans students to use the bathroom of their gender identity choice in February.)

Jackie and Juliet Evancho
| Credit: Photograph by Nick Onken

Jackie also took to social media in February after Trump signed the executive order rolling back protections for trans youth, requesting a meeting with the President. (The White House said Trump would “welcome” a meeting but have yet to confirm an appointment.)

“I had to do something about it,”Jackie told PEOPLE in March. “Because at that point, something had changed that was going to affect a cause that I believe in. It was going to affect my sister, who I truly love, and people that I know. It was just natural instinct.”

She says she hopes to talk to Trump about passing federal laws to protect her sister and other transgender people. “My goals are mainly just to continue what I’m doing, but on a bigger scale — to inspire people, to use my voice to do good, to help people,” Jackie said. “I definitely want to change things.”

RELATED VIDEO: Jackie Evancho on Becoming a Trans Rights Activist for Sister after Performing at Trump’s Inauguration

Growing Up Evancho will explore Juliet and Jackie’s activism. At the time it was taped, the two were beginning to use their platform to speak out against Trump’s rollback of transgender rights. Juliet was also pursuing her dreams of becoming a model, continuing as an LGBTQ activist and moving out of her parent’s house to start a life with her boyfriend.

Jackie, meanwhile, has released six albums since competing as an opera singer on AGT. Her latest — a pop crossover album, Two Heartscame out in March.

“The biggest change [while recording Two Hearts] would have to be my voice. Not my actual singing voice, but just my voice in terms of being listened to as an artist and having my opinion actually mean something,” she told PEOPLE ahead of its release.

Growing Up Evancho premieres Aug. 9 (at 10 p.m. ET) on TLC.