Alpharetta High School seniors Annie Seth and Shreya Ravichandran facilitated fundraisers that raised nearly $1.2 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Seth and Ravichandran participated in the Students of the Year Program, a program dedicated to philanthropic leadership development and leukemia and lymphoma research.
The 2019 Student of the Year class of exceptional high-school student leaders raised $1,199,500 toward The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to cure cancers and make a huge impact in the fight against these deadly diseases. Leukemia is the number one cancer taking the lives of young people under 20, and these student leaders are paving the way for cures and therapies for their peers.
The Students of the Year campaign is a seven-week leadership development initiative in which nominated high school students or teams of two or three students, participate in a nationwide competition to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The campaign concluded on Saturday, March 23, with an awards celebration to honor the 69 student leaders from across metro Atlanta. Candidates raised money in honor of a local blood cancer patient, while learning critical skills such as team management, marketing, sales, financial literacy, and more.
The student duo brought together a team of volunteer students to help with the fundraising. Seth and Ravichandran lead the group beginning in last October, and fundraising officially began in January.
“We utilized our resources and found people who we thought were better connected, great leaders and we focused less on the fact that we were close to certain people, we focused more on merit,” Ravichandran said.
The girls worked with other metro Atlanta fundraising groups and reached out to possible donors near them. Ravichandran and Seth reached out to several local businesses and corporations, including Microsoft.
“You think these people aren’t going to take us seriously, but they really do,” Ravichandran said. “They weren’t condescending.”
“We kind of expected them to be condescending, but they weren’t,” Seth added.
Both students have dealt with cancer diagnosis within their families, so fundraising for cancer research hit home for them. According to the National Cancer Institute, around 38% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.
“That was a huge driving force in this,” Ravichandran said. “My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and beat it...I know she would be proud of us.”
Both girls say they are huge supporters of philanthropy and cancer research. Ravichandran says she plans on going to school for biotechnology and Seth plans to pursue computer science.
“Just the fact that we’re able to put ourselves out there, and actually learn how to make an elevator pitch, and just bring up our cause in conversations and get funds through that, it was very helpful,” Seth said.