Seventeen-year-old Rachael Lambin of Gardnerville was named one of Nevada's top youth volunteers by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a national program conducted by Prudential Financial that honors young people for acts of volunteerism.
Rachael will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in May. There, she will join youth from all over the country, and U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel will help pick the top 10 honorees.
Rachael is home-schooled in Gardnerville and was nominated by her family.
Rachael recently raised more than $30,000 to purchase land and help build a new school for orphans in one of the largest slums in Kenya, and also organized an effort to collect 2,500 pounds of books for the school. She organized garage sales, sought donations from local businesses and churches and applied for matching funds from other organizations. She organized a volunteer group to help her collect text books, Bibles and school supplies.
Last summer, Rachael traveled to Kenya with her family and church to see the new school.
"I know there are poor people in our own backyard who need help," said Rachael. "But even the poorest of the poor in America are living much better than the average person there."