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2 Dragons are recognized ‘2019 Virginia Students of the Year’ after 7-week fundraising campaign to benefit LLS

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2 students with awards 

Congratulations, Ananya Shah (’21-Henrico) and Elena Zerkin (’21-Henrico) – 2019 Virginia Students of the Year.

Ananya and Elena participated as co-candidates in the 2019 Virginia Students of the Year campaign, running at Team Dragons for the Cure.  Students of the Year is a leadership development program for high school students, who compete in a 7-week fundraising competition to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society LLS.  The students form teams, rally their communities, hold business meetings for sponsorships, reach out to their networks, and learn how to manage a large-scale fundraising campaign with the assistance of LLS staff.  At the end of the competition, the student(s) raising the most money receives the title Student(s) of the Year and receive a $2500 scholarship to college.  It’s an incredible experience that offers students the opportunity to develop professional skills, make an impact on their community, and stand out on college applications, all while supporting LLS’ mission to eradicate blood cancers.  

I am very proud to say that Ananya and Elena continued the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School legacy and were named Virginia’s 2019 Students of the Year!  Together, they raised over $35,000 for LLS’ mission, nearly doubling the inaugural 2018 winner’s total of $20,000.  Ananya and Elena led a candidate class of 13 students to raise over $120,000.  I had the pleasure of working closely with Ananya and Elena and seeing them learn and grow throughout the campaign, and ultimately surprise themselves with what they could do.

These students are very special and I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts. 

Kathleen Petroziello
Campaign Manager for the Students of the Year Campaign
Benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)