High School Teens raise over $452,000 to Fight Blood Cancers in the Orange County Inland Empire

High School Teens raise over $452,000 to Fight Blood Cancers in the Orange County Inland Empire

Santa Ana, California, June 7, 2020 - 19 local high school philanthropists collectively raised $452,609 in the 4th Annual 2020 Students of the Year OCIE Campaign.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Orange County Inland Empire Chapter hosted their 4th Annual OCIE Students of the Year Campaign Grand Finale Celebration Virtually this year. The evening included an inspiring program, celebrating local high school philanthropists. 

Kayla Hayashi, Jacqie Gordon, & Will Stauffer of Team Six Lives Per Hour (6LPH), were recognized as the 2020 OCIE Students of the Year.

The runner up was Team Conquer Cancer, led by Aiden Brutman, Kevin Forbath, & Trent Liolios. The Citizenship Awards were presented to Juleen Erives of team Mission CANcer-vive for Mission, Ava Jansen and Ceci Warren of team More Hopeful Hearts, for Community Involvement, and Sanya Dhama of team Connect & Cure, for Innovation. Individual results will be posted once all national Student of the Year Campaigns are complete.

The evening’s festivities were hosted by long time LLS supporter, Mike Shumard.

Mission speakers at the event included:

  • 2020 Students of the Year Honored Hero Samantha Diaz, a 17 year old Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia survivor, shared her story and congratulated the 2020 candidates on their efforts to continue raising funds that would benefit both research and patient services for cancer patients.
  • Jack Witherspoon, a 20 year old three-time Leukemia survivor, chef, and author, presented our 2020 Citizenship Awards.


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 2021 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.