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School District Five student named 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year

For Immediate Release – May 13, 2019



School District Five student named 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year

IRMO – An estimated combined total of 174,250 people in the U.S. were expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2018, several Lexington-Richland School District Five students have raised money to help find a cure and fund research.


This year, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) held its inaugural Students of the Year campaign, raising $50,000.


Team “Lily’s Leaders for a Cure”, led by Lily Schoolmeester (Dutch Fork High School) was named the first Midlands, South Carolina Student of the Year, with more than $17,000 raised. 


Schoolmeester shared the driving force behind her fundraising efforts, “I have had several family members that have lost their battle to cancer, and because of this, I have embraced the Students of the Year opportunity.  Not only to help raise funds for this amazing organization, but to bring awareness to childhood cancers and blood cancers everywhere!”


Nine candidate teams, comprised of 13 extraordinary high school students, competed in this year’s competition.  Eight of those students attend high schools in School District Five including: Madison Gass, Lauren Dodds, Mary Grace Loughman (Team “Make-A-Change”, Spring Hill High School), Lily Schoolmeester (Team “Lily’s Leaders for a Cure”, Dutch Fork High School), Hanna Cargill, Cora Conant, Drew Johnson (Team “Shine for a Cure”, Spring Hill High School), and Aleigh Tisdale (Team “GotCUREage”, Chapin High School).


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year campaign is a leadership development and philanthropy program in which high school students participate in a fundraising competition to benefit LLS.  Every dollar raised counts as one vote.  The candidates/teams who raise the most money at the end of the 7-week competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year. 


In addition to the top fundraising award, 1st and 2nd runner up was recognized for their commitment to the LLS Mission as well. The 2nd runner up award went to Team “GotCUREage” led by Aleigh Tisdale (Chapin High School).


“These students are an inspiration, they embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication,” said Amanda Keisler, Campaign Specialist of LLS’s Midlands South Carolina Chapter. “What the candidates were able to achieve in seven weeks is truly amazing, and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families.”


“Our students continue to excel in all areas,” said School District Five Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton.  “The awareness and the initiative of Lily to develop such a successful campaign illustrates just how prepared our students are to contribute and lead in our community in such meaningful ways. Our students "Know thy impact".


Participants in fundraising campaigns, like Students of the Year, are helping LLS make an impact on the lives of cancer patients. LLS is leading the charge in exploring new paths to cures and treatments, with almost 300 cutting-edge research projects underway, many in the promising new areas of immunotherapy and personalized medicine. In addition to finding blood cancer cures, many of the treatments LLS has helped fund are now helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases.


In 2018 alone, there were 21 FDA approved treatments for blood cancer patients. LLS is proud to have played a role in virtually all of these advancements and will continue to drive research forward with the help of these incredible volunteers.


If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a candidate for the Students of the Year campaign, please contact Amanda Keisler at 803-496-8700 or by email at You can also visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website at