Two Round Rock ISD freshmen are Austin area Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year candidates. They are hosting a seven-week campaign to raise money for LLS.
Round Rock High School student Ashley Yost and Westwood High School student Aditi Dalal have personally felt the effects of cancer.
“In 2018, two friends of mine were diagnosed within six months of each other with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia,” Ashley said. “I was nominated by one of their families, and I felt like it would be a wonderful way that I could make a real, tangible difference.”
“Early in 2018, my grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and after a year in remission, it returned just earlier last year,” Aditi said. “When a friend reached out to me about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year nomination, I gladly accepted.”
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year is a philanthropic leadership development program for exemplary high school students. Students raise money in honor of a local patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from blood cancer.
Aditi and Ashley have set ambitious fundraising goals for their campaigns. If these passionate students reach their goals, they will collectively raise $65,000 to fight cancer. Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The candidate or team who raises the most money at the end of the seven-week competition earns the title of Student(s) of the Year. The winner is revealed at a gala in March.
Ashley and Aditi are applying enterprising fundraising efforts to the cause that include seeking donations and sponsorships from businesses and corporations as well as personal contributions. Each is also raising funds through events and have spoken with students and administrative leaders at their respective schools.
“My principal, Mr. Groff, and my elementary and middle school principals, made time to meet and have been incredibly supportive,” Ashley said. “That has given me so much confidence.”
In addition to fundraising, both students are quite busy in their own right. Aditi is an accomplished pianist who actively participates in several competitive health and business school clubs. At the same time, Ashley is in the choir, dance, and theatre at school, while active in her youth group at church.
“I feel incredibly grateful to have been nominated to participate in this cause. Any cancer is a monumental problem not only for the patient but also for their family,” Aditi said. “To tackle this, it’s going to take every one of us to pitch in. And people of every age should get involved, and I’m quite hopeful that one day soon, we will solve it.”
Anyone interested in donating to either Aditi’s or Ashley’s fundraising efforts may contribute through their campaign websites.