By Chris Bavender
A Fishers teen is vying for a prestigious honor – the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year. Maddie Wirth, a senior at Cathedral High School, was nominated by a previous candidate who asked if she was “up for the challenge.”
“I’d always seen the Student of the Year (program) on social media from different kids running in the past,” Wirth said. “I decided to take on this challenge to continue the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s great efforts.”
Students of the Year is a philanthropic leadership development program where students use professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing and project management to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Students can compete as individuals or as part of a team. The title is awarded to the student or students who raise the most funds during a seven-week competition. Many of the students raise money in honor of a patient who is battling or is in remission from a blood cancer.
Wirth, who is competing as an individual and as part of a team, wants to raise $50,000.
“Although I am not directly affected by someone with a blood cancer, I decided to take up this challenge to continue to appreciate how thankful I am for not just mine, but my loved ones’ health, too,” Wirth said. “I understand how essential it is to find a cure and better the lives of others.”
Wirth is reaching out to people she knows, holding meetings and spreading awareness.
“I have been asking companies for sponsorships, using social media for different challenges and setting up different events,” she said. “Fit Flex Fly, a private gym in Indianapolis, did a donation class. Mrs. Fields (bakery) donated cookies for a pop-up shop at Pottery Barn Kids, and Dairy Queen on Olio Road did a dine and donate. I am currently planning a ‘teenage girl’ closet pitch-in where girls can clean out their old clothes to be resold to others in a garage sale.”
The Student of the Year will be announced March 14. The winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship toward the college or university of his or her choice. For more, visit studentsoftheyear.org/about.