Last night’s Do Something Awards on VH1 was pretty epic—Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler kissed, Demi Lovato blew us away with her “Skyscraper" performance, and 18-year-old Sarah Cronk won the $100,000 Grand Prize for her program, The Sparkle Effect.
We chatted with Sarah recently and learned about some pretty amazing things that happened to her during and after the Do Something Awards (including an embarrassing moment in front of an A-list celeb). Here’s what she had to share:
DoSomething.org: What went through your mind when they called your name as the Grand Prize winner?
Sarah Cronk: The first thing that came to mind was, “WHAT!?" Total amazement. I am the youngest of the five finalists, and I hadn’t even worked through the possibility of what would happen if I did win.
DS: What do you think winning the grand prize will do for your program?
SC: It’s going to take us to a new level. It’s going to allow us to provide more services to our squad. Easier for squads to get started. It’s going to allow us to hire more trainers across the country. It will allow us to bring cheerleaders together to share their experiences.
DS: Is Jane Lynch as cool in person as she seems on TV?
SC: Jane Lynch is even cooler than on TV. She was extremely warm and funny. She gave me a big hug right after, put her arm around me, and said, “We’re so proud of you."
DS: Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
SC: I didn’t do this alone. None of this would’ve happened without the [Sparkle Effect] cheerleaders and coaches across the country, or without the willingness of teens to accept the Sparkle Effect program.
DS: How did you first get involved with DoSomething.org?
SC: I received a Do Something Seed Grant for the original Sparkles squad back in 2008. Shortly thereafter, I joined Do Something's Youth Advisory Council and have been heavily involved with that for the past two years. The individuals who I've met through Do Something are my biggest supporters, teachers, and motivators.
DS: What surprised you the most about being a part of the Do Something Awards?
SC: The biggest surprise was winning! At the after party, celebrities were asking for their picture with me!
DS: Who was the most memorable celeb at the awards?
SC: I was pretty psyched about Justin Bieber. I made blissful eye contact with him for 3 seconds, and my life will never be the same.
DS: Can you think an event during the weekend that you’ll always remember (besides the moment you won, of course)?
SC: I was in the green room, and I took off my heels because my feet were killing me. I was rubbing them against the floor as part of an exercise, and I’m sure it looked crazy. Then I look up and David Beckham is just giving me the most confused expression! He signed soccer balls for us all later, and he is a really sweet guy.
DS: What has this entire Do Something Awards experience been like?
SC: The whole experience has been nothing short of motivating, inspiring, life-altering. The other finalists are incredible, and I have so much to learn from them. I have overwhelming support from everyone. I’m on cloud nine.
DS: What’s your advice to people who would one day want to be a Do Something Award winner?
SC: Go for it. Pick your cause, and just Do Something. You’ll make it.