Doing the Right Thing
It's not often that founders of nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to walk the red carpet at a Hollywood awards ceremony. But this particular ceremony was tailor-made for Mark Rembert '07 and his fellow agents of social change.
Rembert was one of five nominees for the 2010 Do Something Award, run by Do Something.org, which recognizes world-changers ages 25 and under. The awards were announced in a ceremony held July 19 at the Hollywood Palladium and broadcast live by VH1. Rembert was honored for co-founding Energize Clinton County (ECC), which is helping to strengthen the economic future of his hometown of Wilmington, Ohio by creating green jobs and focusing on renewable energy.
Although Rembert did not win the big award in the form of a $100,000 grant, he has received a $10,000 grant from Do Something for being one of the five finalists. At the ceremony, he was introduced by actress Megan Fox, who also presented him with a trophy in the shape of a winged shoe.
“It was a surreal experience,” says Rembert of the ceremony.“It was great to receive so much encouragement and support.” Rembert says he was moved by the effort and care VH1 put into helping the Do Something finalists tell their stories to the world.
It was also a big night for Wilmington, Ohio, which has lost 8,500 jobs since the departure of its largest employer, transportation company DHL Global. The town was featured in a video that described the history and success of ECC.“It's a community that's still struggling, and faces many challenges, but people saw that it's not a â€˜depressed' community in terms of its outlook on the world,” says Rembert, who hopes that ECC will help“redefine how communities work together in dealing with economic crises.”