Students campaign for cancer research in “Student of the Year”

Three students have the opportunity to claim the title of “Student of the Year.” The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society holds competitions in chapters across the country to earn the position of LLS’s Man, Woman, and Students of the Year.

This year, seniors Hailey Ferko and Rachel Prosser, who are competing as a team, and junior Brooke Carroll, whose partner is Annie Sompayrac, a junior at Mira Loma.

During a ten-week campaign, the candidates work to earn as much money as possible to fundraise for the LLS. Each dollar they earn counts for one vote, and the candidates who earn the most money in the two and a half months of the campaign will win the title.

The participants raise funds for blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors.

Carroll has personal reasons for participating in the campaign.

“My dad was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer when I was little,” Carroll said. “He’s okay now, but I don’t think anyone should have to deal with a loved one having cancer.”

She joined the Junior Board for high school students at the LLS a couple of years ago and started volunteering there on a regular basis.

“When I heard about Student of the Year it just seemed natural that I participate,” Carroll said. “I know curing cancer seems like something that is totally crazy and far-off, but what people need to know is that there are actually a lot of researchers who are extremely close to finding a cure.”

Carroll’s team plans on raising at least $50,000 by focusing on corporate sponsorships, as well as receiving donations from friends and family hosting multiple events.

Prosser, as a senior in Rio’s CIVITAS program, was looking for a gratifying and rewarding project to complete during her senior year.

“I needed a senior project for Civitas and I thought this would be the most original and creative option,” Prosser said. “Hailey has also always expressed a passion for cancer-related fundraising so we were a perfect team match.”

Prosser first heard about the fundraiser from two friends who participated a couple years back and loved the experience.

Prosser and Ferko have reached out to corporations and businesses as well, and are already well on their way to their $50,000 fundraising goal.

“Auction items and sponsorships are also a large part of our campaign fundraising strategy,” Prosser said.

Students have supported the efforts of the competitors in the Student of the Year contest.

“My uncle had cancer in his lymph nodes,” senior Rikki Devlin said. “He recovered and everything is good, but it’s thanks to research such as this that he’s doing fine now.”

The Sacramento winners will be announced at the Gala celebration at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento on May 12.