The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 5th annual Students of the Year Greater Lehigh Valley & Northeast PA campaign exceeded all expectations, with 16 candidate teams, comprised of 33 extraordinary high school students, raising $333,578 to help find cancer cures.
Team 3A led by Ashley Filipkowski from Stroudsburg High School, Angie Espinoza of Pocono Mountain West High School and Alex Hafler of Pocono Mountain East High School, were named the Students of the Year.
Participants in fundraising campaigns, like Students of the Year, are helping LLS make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, not someday, but today. LLS is leading the charge in exploring new paths to cures and treatments, with almost 300 cutting-edge research projects underway, many in the promising new areas of immunotherapy and personalized medicine. In addition to finding blood cancer cures, many of the treatments LLS has helped fund are now helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases.
Team Cancer Curesaders, led by Anushka Gattu and Harini Shankar of Central Bucks High School South was named Runner-Up. The Top Fundraiser Recognition Award connects the individual with one of LLS’s Research Portfolios. The portfolios include a variety of projects that focus on specific blood cancer research, so candidates may choose one that is meaningful to them.
“These students are an inspiration, they embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication,” said Jana Boyer, Executive Director of LLS’s New Jersey region. “What the candidates were able to achieve in seven weeks is truly amazing, and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families.”
In addition to top fundraising awards, a candidate was recognized for their commitment to LLS through Mission Involvement. The Mission Award went to: Alyssa Iacobacci of Perkiomen Prep for Mission Involvement.
Ashley Filipkowski, Alex Hafler, Angie Espinoza
Cameron Bozik & Jordyn Bortz
Harini Shankar & Anushka Gattu
Shaylee Louk, Nicollette McCabe, Alexis Proulx
Monica Vargo, Julia Vargo & Ashleigh Meskill
Harshini Mallipedhi & Naeema Salau
Autumn Willard & Cassie Coco
Sophie Bretzik, Emily Reed & Lincoln Capwell
Lizzie Neville & Lily Wagner
Kaitlyn Forister & Nairobi Brown
Mollie Goodrich, Alex Neff & Abby Green
Chelsea Dunkwu & Amya Biscaino