STMS students earn national nomination |

STMS students earn national nomination

Jill Darby

Three South Tahoe Middle School students have a chance at winning the National Youth Advocate of the Year award, an honor which they say makes all of their hard work at school and in the community well worth it.

South Shore’s Christie Cotcher, Kristin Heller and Anna Lambdin, all members of the middle school’s Club Live program, were nominated for National Youth Advocate of the Year by their teachers. They are up against candidates from across the United States.

“I’m extremely proud of all of the work these girls have done over the past three years,” Club Live advisor Larry Lambdin said. “They’ve been such good role models in the community.”

The award, sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, honors the efforts of young activists dedicated to protecting themselves, their peers and community from tobacco addiction through public education efforts.

The recipient of the award will be announced April 15 and the winner will receive a scholarship in addition to national recognition.

Ray Lagar, a Florida high school student was one of last year’s winners. A former smoker, Lagar lobbied for tobacco control legislation, produced and performed anti-tobacco puppet shows for 2,600 students in his community and personally raised more than $3,300 for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event.

As a member of Club Live, Anna Lambdin has participated in numerous community education projects, school clean-ups and played a major role in creating anti-drug, tobacco and alcohol murals on the campus at South Tahoe Middle School.

“I’m proud that I don’t do drugs or tobacco or alcohol,” Anna Lambdin said. “I’m very athletic and I don’t have time for that kind of nonsense.”

Heller said while she hopes to win the award, she was proud just to be nominated.

“I was glad I was nominated because I think it’s really important to teach kids and teens about alcohol and drug abuse and that’s what I’m trying to do,” she said. “If I win I’ll use the money to work towards helping the club (Club Live) and the community.”

Cotcher said being nominated made her feel special.

“I felt really privileged,” Cotcher said. “I was really happy because there are a lot of kids in Club Live but they chose me and that makes me feel good. That makes me feel important. In my essay (to the judging committee) I wrote that I really want to help kids improve their quality of life. Plus, it would be really great to get that scholarship.”

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