Local students take on mission to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

PITTSBURGH — For many students, the last two years have been a challenge, juggling school with the pandemic.

A group of local students took on a new mission to raise money for an important cause.

Olivia Supp and Emma Martinis have been watching the clock for weeks. The countdown is on, for all their hard work and fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“It’s really rewarding,” said Supp, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School. “It’s a lot of work, but every single minute we put into it, it’s just always something given back to us.”

For seven weeks, nominated high school students all across Pittsburgh fundraised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s 2022 Students of the Year competition.

19 teams of 28 students from 11 schools have been battling it out to raise money for blood cancer research and patients families.

This year’s goal is $655,000.

Supp and Martinis are part of team “4 The Cure.”

“The whole community has been involved with everything,” Martinis said. “The Jefferson Hills Intermediate School has helped us a lot with all the money they raise with the coin drives.”

These students at Thomas Jefferson High School said it’s not just about the money. It’s also about being there for people, like 10-year-old Scarlett, who is bravely battling leukemia.

“They learned to put others first, and it’s not all about them,” said Stephanie Martinis, Emma’s mom. “There’s more important things in life, and the daily problems that they think they might have at that moment.”

The competition wraps up Friday night when the winners are announced at an award ceremony.

While Olivia and Emma can’t wait to meet the other teams and see who wins, they said they’ve already won the biggest prize.

The top fundraiser will receive a $1,250 scholarship, and two others will receive prizes for top essays.