OCIE Teens raise more than $447,000 to Fight Blood Cancer

Orange County, California - Like many nonprofit organizations, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is not immune to the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fifth annual Students of the Year campaign exceeded all expectations, ensuring that in today’s times of uncertainty, cancer patients will remain supported. Thirteen student led teams across Orange County and the Inland Empire remained laser-focused in their pursuit of a world without blood cancer – even though it meant running a fully virtual campaign. In just seven weeks, these extraordinary high school students raised $447,201.

Newport Harbor High School's Murphy Malouf, Julian Knott, & Luca Curci, of Team Cancer Crusher, were awarded with the prestigious title of Orange County Inland Empire Students of the Year by raising more than $137,000!

Team Adolphson’s Aces led by Lilly Hurtt, of Crean Lutheran High School, was named Runner-Up. Special recognition was also given to teams who raised more than $50,000 – Team Adolphson’s Aces, Team Cancer Crushers, Team Hope, and Team Marvel Heroes. This $50,000 Top Fundraiser Recognition Award connects the individuals with one of LLS’s Research Portfolios. The portfolios include a variety of projects that focus on specific blood cancer research, so candidates may choose one that is meaningful to them.

OCIE 2021 Winner & Runner Up

The Citizenship Awards were presented to Makenna Stefano of Team Hope for Mission Integration, Danielle Ito of Team Marvel Heroes for Volunteerism, and David Lee & Cameron J. Wright of Team Caring for a Cure for Community Involvement. 


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Students of the Year is an exciting 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. For motivated high school students, this program ensures they stand out among their peers when engaging with colleges and/or future employers. Through guidance and mentoring from experienced professionals at LLS they will make a real impact in the fight against blood cancers.

Apply or Nominate a High School Student for our 2022 Students of the Year class at https://studentsoftheyear.org/get-involved.


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients. Since 1949, LLS has been on the forefront of blood cancer advances such as chemotherapies and stem cell transplantation leading the way to the targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives today. LLS is changing the landscape of cancer with more than 300 active research projects that explore different avenues of new and adventurous research; ones with promise and ones that will save lives not someday, but today.

Grand Finale Highlights

Thank you to all those who supported our 27 candidate teams through silent auction, making a general donation and attending our virtual gala! Congratulations again to our 27 candidate teams and 400 team members on raising a recording breaking $960,000 towards our mission.

The 2021 Students of the Year Winner: Team Lookout Leukemia

Team Lookout Leukemia

The 2021 Students of the Year Runner Up: Team Overcome

Team Overcome


Volunteerism Award Recipients: Lilly Patterson and Alice Schubert

                                                           Lilly Patterson Alice Schubert      

Team Fundraising Team Member: Lily Botros


Lily Botros

$50K Teams:

  • Team Lookout Leukemia
  • Team Overcome
  • Team Victory in the Ville
  • Team Hudson Explorers
  • Team Pioneer for the Cure
  • Team In the Arena
  • Team Hope 

Congratulations to Kailey Wilson!

Congratulations to our SOY RGV 2021 Student of the Year, Kailey Wilson! Kailey and her team raised $45,000 for the fight against blood cancers. Kailey was running in honor of her grandfather. Amazing job, Kailey!!!

Congratulations to Mitchell Patterson

Congratulations to the 2021 San Antonio Student of the Year, Mitchell Patterson, and his team, Team Alamo! This group of hardworking students raised over $140,000 to support the fight against blood cancers! Thank you for all of your hard work - you are amazing!

Grand Finale Celebration

Submitted by cairnsj on Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:47

Please join us to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the Students of the Year Class of 2021! If you'd like to be included in our invitation list, please email Jennifer.Cairns@lls.org.

Campaign Kickoff!

Submitted by cairnsj on Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:44

Join us as we celebrate the start of our 2021 Students of the Year campaign in the Kansas City area! To sign up to attend, send an email to Jennifer.Cairns@lls.org, SOY Campaign Development Manager.