With letters of acceptance from six Ivy League schools, several prestigious scholarships and the Eagle Scout Award, you’d think Kyle Lambert would be ready for a well-deserved break.
But the Eagle Scout from Troop 144 of Queens, N.Y. (Greater New York Councils), sees all that hard work as the warmup act. After earning his version of the “American dream,” Kyle wants to help lift up others who are still struggling.
Kyle grew up in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and moved to New York in 2017.
“As a low-income immigrant living in an underserved community, I faced several adversities that I refused to let hinder my academic and career goals,” Kyle says. “I aim to bring awareness to the amazing potential that exists in our Black and brown communities.”
Kyle says Scouting helped him acquire the leadership skills he’ll need to make that lasting impact.
“As I enter college to take on new and larger tasks, it is important that I have these skills — so I can effectuate the change in the world that I hope to create,” Kyle says.
Getting to ‘yes’
Kyle was accepted to six of the eight Ivy League schools: Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. He also got admitted to Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and several other top universities.
He received the Gates Scholarship, the QuestBridge Scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship and several others.
Instead of attending an east coast Ivy League school, Kyle chose Stanford University in California — the “Ivy of the West” — for his education this fall. After graduating from college, he intends to go to medical school to pursue his dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon.
Earning a degree from Stanford will certainly help Kyle’s desire to help others, but he’s not waiting for a college diploma to get started. He’s the founder of Med For All Global, a nonprofit focused on reducing medical inequities in underserved communities. He mentors students across New York City. And he advocates for racial equality and better healthcare services to his 5,000-plus Instagram followers, using the power of social media for good.
This passion for service flourished in Scouting, Kyle says. For his Eagle Scout service project, Kyle led an effort to collect food for a food pantry operated out of a nursing home in Queens. Like many moments in Scouting, this one gave Kyle an immersive lesson in leadership.
“Ivy League schools look for students who are proactive and are able to make the most of the opportunities,” he says. Scouting experience lets young people “show them that you’re a true leader.”
How he made time for it all
A straight-A student, a volunteer and an Eagle Scout. And I didn’t even mention Kyle’s part-time job as a jewelry salesperson at Macy’s.
How did one teenager find time to do it all? Two techniques.
One, he kept his life organized using a low-tech solution: a day planner. And two, he was judicious about the times he said “yes.”
“I only did things that I was passionate about,” he says. “This allowed me to always produce my best work in everything I’ve participated in.”
Kyle decided Scouting fit that test, and he’s glad he made the choice to join. Kyle says Scouting offered lessons “not taught in the classroom.”
Like that first swim test at Scout summer camp. Growing up in Jamaica, Kyle had plenty of experience swimming.
“But the Scouting requirements certainly made the experience a bit nerve-racking,” he says. “At the end of the day, it gave me a chance to bond with my troop.”
Kyle encourages younger Scouts to jump into these opportunities with both feet.
“As Scouts, we are privileged to have a network of amazing scholars, teachers and several professionals who are able to pass on their knowledge and experiences to us,” he says. “My advice is to take advantage of this network and seek opportunities within your troop and the entire Scouting family.”
Thanks to Neisha Joseph and Ethan Draddy for the blog post idea.