The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Students of the Year (SOY) campaign is a 7 week fundraising challenge. High School students from across the country are nominated by community and philanthropic leaders to run as a candidate, recruit a multigenerational team and compete against other local candidate teams, all in the name of curing blood cancer! The candidate team(s) who raises the most money at the end of the 7 week competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year, as well as scholarship funds. An additional 3 candidate teams are awarded a Citizenship Award based on their campaign’s commitment to Community Involvement, Volunteerism and the Mission of LLS.
LLS’s National Capital Area (NCA) chapter held the first ever Students of the Year campaign in 2014; 15 candidate teams from the DMV collectively raised over $386,000. Now in its 7thsuccessful year, 36 teams of students set a new National campaign fundraising record, raising over $2.7 million through corporate sponsorships, creative fundraising events and personal contributions for LLS’s mission in just 7 weeks!
Dedicating their campaigns to a world without blood cancers, this year’s campaign culminated with the Grand Finale Gala on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at The JW Marriott in Washington, D.C.
Top sponsors of the 2020 campaign included Aurora Innovations, Bernstein Management Group, Inc., Enterprise Holdings, Regulus Group, and Halpern Financial.
To see a list of the 2020 candidates that just completed their 7 week campaign, please visit ONLINE.
How Our Student Leaders Fundraise
LLS provides each candidate team with the necessary tools to be successful, including but not limited to, fundraising strategy meetings, mock sponsorship pitches, mentorship opportunities with local professionals as well as past candidate, team members and parents.
In addition, all candidate teams receive mentorship and support from the Leadership Team, this year led by Co-Chairs Jeana Foster, Professional Philanthropists and Christine Thayer, a clinical psychologist, as well as past Students of the Year candidates and parents who have been nominated to be peer and parents mentors.
Candidates demonstrate their leadership skills and tenacity by reaching out to their networks with personal letters and emails, sponsorship pitches to local and national corporations, and fundraising events, throughout the 7 week campaign timeline.
Community Support – Get Involved!
During the campaign, the easiest way to get involved is to make a donation to a candidate who inspires you. All proceeds benefit LLS’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world’s largest national voluntary health organization dedicated to curing blood cancers and improving the quality of life of patients. Stay tuned for our 2021 Candidate teams to be announced later this Fall ONLINE.
Corporate Support – Get Involved!
Corporations can support LLS’s SOY campaign in 1 of 3 ways!
- Become an Event Corporate Sponsor – supporting all candidate teams
- Nominate an Employee’s son or daughter to run as a candidate
- Become an Event Corporate Sponsor – supporting a specific candidate team
Opportunities range from a $5,000 event sponsorship to a $100,000 Corporate Beacon sponsorship.
Corporate sponsorship levels range from $5,000 – $100,000, allowing students the opportunity to pitch local businesses and developing life-long skills of requesting and conducting meetings with business decision makers. The sponsors are able to use their contributions to partner with LLS’s mission and support students in this leadership development fundraising campaign.
For information about how your company can make a positive impact in the Washington, DC area by participating as a sponsor, please email Jenny Siler, Senior Chapter Director (Jenny.Siler@lls.org).
Nominate a Candidate!
To continue increasing the campaign’s impact on the mission, LLS is actively recruiting candidates for Students of the Year 2021 campaign, which will kick off in January of 2021. Ideal candidates are highly motivated high school students who are passionate and excited about giving back to the community and truly changing the world.
Interested in learning more, nominating a candidate or possibly participating personally in our 2021 campaign? Please email Jessica Cosgriff at Jessica.Cosgriff@lls.org.