The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was built on the vision of a better world – one without blood cancers. With the help of high school students across the country, including Woodward Academy freshman Eden Schiff, their impact is significant.
Student Visionaries of the Year is a philanthropic leadership program with a seven-week journey and the goal for teens to raise important funds while earning the Student Visionary of the Year title.
Schiff was grateful to be nominated for this leadership award by a friend of her mother’s and her mission is close to her heart. She shared, “My co-candidate and friend, Alexander Chalk, was directly affected at an early age, when his mother died in 2010 when he was only 2 ½ years old. Alexander’s mother, Jenny, was one of my mother and father’s (Leigh and Michael Schiff’s) closest friends. Alexander and I grew up at The Temple together and have known each other our entire lives. Both of us are raising money in her honor. Alexander and I have created a team of teens from a variety of different schools, so that we can raise the most money possible.”
Schiff explained what interested her in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “Prior to being contacted by LLS, I didn’t know too much about the organization and its mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Once I learned how many people and families are affected by blood diseases, I wanted to get behind this cause dedicated to finding a cure. I love to raise money for meaningful causes and a seven-week competition adds to the fun and challenge of it.”
She added, “Being a student visionary is important and makes me feel proud and honored that someone thought that I had the leadership skills to be a student visionary. This program is giving me the opportunity to work on necessary life skills at a very young age. I want to make an impact in the world and through our team’s fundraising efforts, the hope is that LLS will help to support a cure. I have enjoyed working with so many people at LLS and companies in Atlanta to pitch my campaign to.”
When asked who motivates Schiff in her life to make a difference, she replied, “In my life, I am inspired by my mom because she never quits and always pushes me the farthest. I would be nowhere close to where I am today academically, athletically, or socially without her. I also thank my dad because he has encouraged me so far in this campaign and helped me get out of my comfort zone.”
Schiff continued, “My team is a group of girls primarily; they are mostly at schools here in Atlanta and in Florida. From this experience, I have learned so many skills, such as advanced email writing, public speaking, not being afraid to ask for something, being persistent even if people say ‘No’ and the ability to create, lead and work on a strong team. I have also made many friends with peers and the leadership team at LLS, which means a lot to me.
“For me to be able to contribute to families and patients that need support makes me feel really good inside. I’m fortunate to have my family’s support, and any dollar we can raise can help families with the very expensive, intense process to go through cancer treatment. While I might never meet the people that our fundraising efforts go towards, just knowing that the donations can contribute to making a huge difference in the lives of others puts a smile on my face.”