Student gives own account of award gala

During a trip to New York City to collect a $10,000 award, a 16 year-old Carson Valley resident was interviewed and photographed for the August issue of Teen Vogue magazine that hit newsstands July 5. Here is an excerpt of Rachael Lambin's account of her experiences.

In recognition of creating a program to help young people with obesity, Lambin received Do Something's BRICK Award and attended a gala ceremony April 11.

The home-schooled student was one of nine young people in the nation who won grants and scholarships from Do Something, an organization funding young people who identify problems in their communities and get up and do something about it.

Lambin's contribution to the community was the creation of Help Obese People through Education to help teens with obesity.

Lambin said she's responding to people all over the country interested in starting the program in their communities. "I am currently working on my other project called 'Bridge' and the Mathare slum orphans," she said. "The money I got from Do Something ($5,000) went to purchase land in Kenya, Africa, so that they can start building an orphanage to help over 800 children."

To find out about HOPE, go to

Last October I was nominated for the 2006 Do Something BRICK Award. While I was thrilled to be recognized for my project HOPE (Helping Obese People through Education), I really didn't think that I would get selected for this incredibly difficult to receive award.

All my life, our family always volunteered in soup kitchens, helped the poor, helped abused children and senior citizens, cleaned river beds and planted trees - you name it, we did it. My parents, David and Debbie Lambin, believed we were blessed with a real home, had enough for food and clothing while there were others who weren't that fortunate. It was our job to do whatever we could to help others and that's what we did.

Last December I was selected as one of 24 youths to come to New York City for an interview for the Do Something BRICK Awards. Ultimately, nine 2006 Do Something BRICK Award winners would be selected.

My brothers Jeff and John-Henry and I were selected to attend the 2006 Summit for Young Social Entrepreneurs. It was great meeting all the other candidates from ages 12-24, seeing their projects and finding how we could help each other grow and help many others.

In my interview, they did a videotape of me explaining my project and how it helped other youths. While I didn't know if I would be selected, I have to say it felt really good being there and knowing that I did a good job.

Then selected as one of the 2006 BRICK Award Winners, my family and I were to head back to New York City for a huge gala event on April 11.

Being a Do Something BRICK Award winner makes you feel like you are a celebrity. Kohl's Department Stores was the main sponsor of the event and provided all the winners with complete outfits from shoes to jewelry to wear to the dinner.

My mom, brother Jeff and I went to the Do Something Gala. It was held at the Capitale, a refurbished historical bank converted into one of the most beautiful event centers in the city.

As soon as we walked into the room, photographers flashed their cameras and writers from various news journals all talked to us at once. There were tables filled with silent auction items and models showing Kohl's fashions.

I talked to Kevin Ray from the public relations firm that works with Do Something about his proposal for me to be in the August issue of Teen Vogue magazine. It turns out the magazine had an interest in doing a feature story about my project HOPE and me. What an honor and privilege to be in a fashion magazine. I have always wanted to become a fashion designer and this is just so wonderful.

It was a really incredible event - none like I have ever been to and I can certainly see why they call it the Academy Awards of community services. As winners we received an engraved brick with our names and $10,000 - $5,000 for our college education and $5,000 for a charity of our choice.

It was a lot of fun bonding with the other winners and talking about our projects. We were photographed with actor and founder, Andrew Shue, as well as other celebrities who attended the gala.

The next day we met with Jennifer MacNeil, assistant editor of "Positive Thinking" magazine who wrote a story about my project "Kids Helping Kids with Asthma" in the September/October 2005 issue. She asked if my brother and I were interested in writing articles for both "Positive Thinking" and "Guidepost" magazines. As soon as school is finished, we plan to do that.

The next day was the photo shoot for "Teen Vogue" magazine. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by photographers, fashion coordinators, writers and the public relations director. It was so hard to believe that all these people were here for me.

They did my hair, make-up, dressed me in a total of three outfits and took about 100 pictures in each. I don't really know much about what it's like to be a fashion model or an actress but I can tell you I experienced something like it.

I was interviewed about my project HOPE and how my peers can learn more about it. Several people from Kohl's and "Teen Vogue" talked with me about the photo shoot and the Do Something BRICK Award. They let me know how proud they were of me and my work in helping youth with obesity and having a voice for others.

I'm so excited to find out how the story will turn out and see what photos that they'll choose to be in the "Teen Vogue" August, 2006, issue.


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