Sarah Jo Lambert wanted to change the world for the better. When she was 14 years old, her love of nature inspired her to design an environmental education center. Two years later, the result was a 79-square-meter carbon-neutral structure built with blocks of compressed earth. Lambert named the center Lorax Lodge after the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax, which focuses on environmental conservation.
Lambert designed the Lorax Lodge as part of a Girl Scout project. She raised $235,000 and recruited 2,200 people, including 700 teenagers, to help build the center. Lambert received a Girl Scout Gold Award for her work. The award recognizes scouts who demonstrate leadership culminating in a project that has lasting effects in the community.
There is no doubt that Lambert’s efforts will have a lasting effect. As part of her project, she created an environmental curriculum guide to educate youth about environmentalism. She even translated it into Spanish so it could reach more people. She also created a Girl Scout badge that scouts can earn for raising environmental awareness in their communities.
Organizations besides the Girl Scouts also honored Lambert for her achievements; she was awarded a Barron Prize for Young Heroes and a President’s Environmental Youth Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Barron Prize, given to young leaders who make a positive difference in the world, came with $2,500. In 2012, Lambert was chosen to be one of 8,000 people to carry the Olympic flame in the United Kingdom. She was one of only 10 American students to be chosen to participate.