Sophie Sun, SM East junior, and Sara Tamayo, SM Northwest junior, co-led a Signature Program team who raised more than $50,000 for the Mid-America Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Now, their efforts will not only support LLS, but also the Medical Health Science program.
Sun and Tamayo, who call their team of nine members, the Hopeful Hearts, fundraised for the Students of the Year Kansas City campaign. Students of the Year is a philanthropic leadership development program for exemplary high school students. During the campaign, participants foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management in order to raise funds for LLS.
Connie Gandy, Medical Health Science instructor, connected the students who are enrolled in the Medical Health Science and Sports Medicine programs because they exhibited leadership skills and a desire to make a difference.
“I really liked how well organized the Student of the Year program was and the competitive element,” Tamayo said.
The students organized a multi-generational team of members and hosted a variety of fundraisers that included Bake Sales and a Dung Drop hosted at a former neighbor’s farm. The team sold squares of the farm and the day of the event, Daisy the cow was released in the field. The person whose square received the drop won a cash prize.
In recognition of their outstanding fundraising achievements, the students received a $1,000 grant that they donated to the Medical Science pathway. Also, since they surpassed the $50,000 fundraising mark, they will have the opportunity to select the LLS research project they would like to support.
Next year, as seniors, they will help mentor new teams.
“They will be an outstanding Legacy Team,” Janeane Werner, LLS Campaign Manager said. “They made three presentations to corporations seeking sponsorships and got a ‘yes’ from all three businesses. The opportunity improved their leadership, time and project management skills that will serve them well in their future career path.”