(Cranford, NJ, August 18, 2020) The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far reaching, and high school students are among those whose lives are being up-ended. Not only is this generation missing many traditional rites of passage, but they are graduating into a frightening world and an uncertain future. But, rather than feeling sorry for themselves, a very unique group of students across the country are facing the challenges head-on and setting an extraordinary example for their peers, parents and, importantly, patients with blood cancer who rely on the support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a global leader in the fight against cancer.
LLS’s Students of the Year fundraising campaign brings together thousands of students across the country who are extraordinarily driven to reach their own personal fundraising best and ultimately, help LLS fight blood cancer, a disease that is diagnosed every nine minutes in the U.S.
The results of LLS’s 2020 Students of the Year campaign are astonishing. During the 7-week fundraising competition, records were broken and new standards were built. These young students went above and beyond in their fundraising efforts, contributing to LLS’s investment of nearly $1.3 billion in lifesaving cancer research and breakthroughs.
2020 New Jersey Students of the Year Winner
The New Jersey campaign exceeded all expectation, with 13 candidate teams, comprised of 21 extraordinary high school students. Better Together led by Lucas Depasquale of Delbarton School, Kieran Hyland of Morristown High School, and Haley Meehan of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, were named the 2020 New Jersey Students of the Year, breaking the record in New Jersey for the most funds raised by a candidate team with an astonishing $355,285 raised for the mission.
This year's results were even more groundbreaking, Better Together has ranked third in the nation for raising the most out at 11,000+ candidate teams and 12,000 multigenerational team members. Better Together was considered a "legacy candidate" since his Kieran’s brother and Haley’s friend were named the New Jersey Students of the Year in 2018 and 2019.
Reflecting on their experience, Better Together shared, “We are so happy that we were able to support such an amazing cause! It’s so important that we come together and work towards finding a cure for cancer. We are so thankful for everyone that donated to us and supported our team! Our families have all been touched by blood cancers and we worked hard for them. We know they are so proud of the work we accomplished and the work we will continue to do for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”