UML Women’s Lacrosse Alum Recognized for Born to Run Foundation

Runner and UML alum Noelle Lambert mid-stride.
Noelle Lambert '19 received $35,000 for her Born to Run Foundation after being named the 2020 Women of Worth National Honoree by L'Oreal Paris.

By Ed Brennen

First it was Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren. Then entertainer Kelly Clarkson and actress Aja Naomi King.

Some serious star power shined a light on Noelle Lambert ’19 and her nonprofit Born to Run Foundation after the former UML women’s lacrosse player was named the 2020 Women of Worth National Honoree by L'Oréal Paris on Dec. 1.

"It is such an incredible honor,” said Lambert, who made an inspiring return to the lacrosse field in 2018 after losing her left leg in a moped accident. Later that year, the Londonderry, New Hampshire, native started the Born to Run Foundation, which provides young amputees with prosthetics that allow them to run again. So far, she has donated 10 athletic prostheses to youngsters across the country.

Lambert received $10,000 for her foundation when she was named one of 10 Women of Worth finalists in October. After several weeks of online public voting, Mirren surprised Lambert with the news that she was the national honoree while taping an interview with the TV show “Extra.” Lambert receives an additional $25,000 for her foundation as the national honoree.

“Just because you’re an amputee doesn’t mean your life is over,” Lambert said during a recent appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” where she thanked L'Oréal Paris for the award that “allows us to gift someone a prosthetic so they can live their lives.”

“Noelle, you are utterly incredible,” said King, a L'Oréal Paris spokesperson and star of the TV show “How to Get Away with Murder.” “You’ve taken this moment that would have broken many people, and you used that strength to instead inspire others.”

While Lambert has hung up her lacrosse stick, her athletic career is not over. As a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team, Lambert set an American record with a time of 16.31 seconds in the women’s 100-meter sprint in November 2019 at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. She is training for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo.