Students of the Year Austin

Yara Ben-Musa | Team Yara

Yara's Students of the Year Fundraiser

Jan 07, 2021

I am honored to participate as a candidate for the 2021 Students of the Year program, a seven-week initiative in which select high school students from around the country participate in a fundraising competition to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I am running to honor my close friends and family who have battled cancer and am raising critical dollars in honor of a young patient hero, Elena, who is in remission from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Each dollar is a vote. The candidate team that raises the most money at the end of the seven weeks is named Student of the Year. Our mission is to not only raise the most money but also to bring attention to blood cancers like leukemia, which is the most common form of cancer in children and teens.

Cancer has touched my life in many ways, from my family to my friends. Some of the people closest to me that inspired me to run for Student of the Year are my mother, both my grandfathers, my grandma on my mom’s side, and our dear friend Debbie Simon. My mother’s experience of overcoming Breast cancer and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma serves as a vibrant example of the courageous, unwavering, and unyielding fight against these diseases. At 16 she had her first battle with cancer, Lymphoma. She underwent radiation treatment after her father had his first fight with Leukemia when she was eight. Soon after, my grandfather relapsed, and unfortunately passed away. In 2018, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer along with her mother a couple of months earlier. My grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, so she is still going through treatment but is doing amazing. After both undergoing chemo treatment and my mother’s surgeries, they are both healthy and excited to participate in this campaign with me!

Since the early 1960s, five-year survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. And many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients but are helping patients with other cancers and serious diseases. In fact, drugs first approved for blood cancers are now approved to treat patients with stomach cancers, skin cancers, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

We really are changing the face of blood cancer!

All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. They'll not only support LLS-funded research but will help provide critical information and support for patients, and support advocacy for laws to ensure patients can access the care and treatments they need.

Please visit our website often and bring friends who would also like to donate!

On behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, thank you for your support!

For more information about LLS, please visit



  • Fayruz Benyousef & Malek Ben-Musa

    Way to go Yara! We are so proud of you. Mama and Baba

  • Marisa Lapp

    Yara- Keep on shining and thriving in 2021!

  • Christie Bradow

    Cancer of any kind sucks. Bless you Yara for your compassion and resolve.

  • Lina Supnet Zapata

    Thank you for your philanthropic efforts! Glad to support such a wonderful cause.

  • Bonni Teplitz Roseman

    Yara You will move mountains! Love you!!! Bonni

  • Joanna Ridgway

    Thank you for supporting this important cause!!!

  • Molly Quirk

    Go Yara!

  • Frances Day

    Keep up the good work.

  • Susan Lubin

    Go Yara, go!

  • Laurie & Dan Daniel

    My brother is currently in remission from mantle cell lymphoma. Sadly, we lost a good friend, Reed Jordan, to leukemia. Thank you Yara and friends for continuing the fight for awareness and research of these blood cancers. You guys are rock starts!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for giving us this opportunity to do good <3 Love you guys BIG!

  • Megan Helmbrecht

    In honor of Fayruz and Mama Nuria.

  • Margaret VerHagen

    In memory of my beautiful mother Geraldine Lynch!

  • Fatima Levens

    So proud of you Yara !

  • Kate Tolliver

    Yara - you are a ROCKSTAR! Shine on sweet girl!

  • Beatrice Benson

    My darling sister Marilyn battled a blood cancer for almost seven (7) years. She fought that disease with courage and hope.

  • SueAnn Wade-Crouse

    Yara - if you turn out anything like your mom (and I suspect you will), we are all blessed have having a Fayruz "clone"!

  • Shadia Igram

    Way to go Yara! I see you have inherited your mother's compassion and spirit MashAllah.

  • Sandra J Krempasky

    Yara, you are an amazing young woman! Thank you for all your hard work!

  • Kathleen C Mack

    Thank you Yara for leading and taking the initiative. I admire your determination. Kathleen

  • Ellie Falcao

    Go Yara! You are such an incredible young lady- good luck!

  • Teresa Granillo

    Go Yara! So proud of you!

  • Sara Levy & Dani Sherizen

    Way to go Yara!

  • Sylvia Maggio

    Yara - Wishing you great success with the campaign for such a personal and worthy cause! All the best, Sylvia Maggio

  • Maryann Bell

    Yara - the whole Bell Family is cheering for you - we love you and your amazing family!

  • Jaime Garcia

    Thank you for dedicating your time to raising money to help with cancer treatment. We lose outstanding individuals to cancer every day. You are making a difference. Congratulations on your success so far! Keep it going!

  • Dena Jansen

    Go girl go!

  • Shelly Bain

    Way to go Yara!

  • Gigi Elkhammas

    Keep up the amazing work! God bless those who have been impacted ??

  • Frances Day

    Good job Yara!

  • Ken Lambrecht

    Thank you for all you’re doing to help find a cure for cancer.

  • Nahil Sharkasi

    Yara! So excited to see you follow in your mama's footsteps and continue fighting and using your voice for those who need. We're so happy to support you in this and all of your goals. Love, your west coast fam, Nahil, Richard, and Serene

  • Nathan Idais

    You’re awesome, Yara! Keep up the good work!

  • Kay Wolking Bratton

    So proud of you Yara! You give me hope for the future💟 ~ Kay

  • Kaitlin Swarts

    Go Yara! You are such an inspiring young woman. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Aaron Rochlen

    Great job Yara

  • Amy Yeatts

    Good luck, Yara! My niece had a great experience doing this in Houston last year. I hope you will, too!

  • Ronda Rutledge

    Go Yara go! So proud of you, girlie. What an inspiration you are to all young people, far and wide!

  • Anonymous

    The whole beautiful family!!

  • Sarah G Butler

    Ernest and I wish you success!

  • The Newberg Family

    Proud of you Yara. Thank you for making a difference in our community. The Newberg Family

  • Stacy Page

    In honor of your incredible mom who is my superhero!

  • Tammy Winkler

    Find The Cure❤️

  • Magda Fe hems-Sharkasi

    Yara, you and mama make this world a batter place!! You inspire and motivate me to be a better person! I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish. I trust you can move mountains. ??

  • Frances Day

    Keep fighting!

  • Martha & Cliff Ernst

    Way to go Yara! Martha & Cliff Ernst

  • Sarah Burgess

    So proud of the amazing young woman you have become Yara. I have no doubt that you will move mountains!

  • Amy Becker

    Keep up the good work Yara!

  • Susan Sager

    Sending love and blessing to you, Yara, your Mom and Grandmom !

  • Marcia Levy

    Blessings on you and your efforts!

  • Anonymous

    Proud of you! -On behalf of WH

  • Ana and Alejandro Ruelas

    Dear Yara, We are very proud of your effort to create awareness about LLS and are honored to help you exceed your goal. Sincerely, Ana & Alejandro Ruelas

  • Leslie Sweet

    Great job Yara! Thank you for your work and courage in this endeavor! Leslie

  • Linda Katz

    I am very proud of your efforts to combat this terrible disease. Love, Auntie Linda

  • Jason Borrelli

    Very impressive work and a noble cause. Best of luck to you.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations on all your hard work YARA! Your life makes a difference!

  • Michelle Cline

    Way to go! Thank yoU!

  • Kelly Breeden

    Keep up the great work, Yara!

  • Judd Messer

    Give 'em hell, Yara!

  • Lissa Adams

    Thank you for boldly advocating for this cause and for being brave for your mom and all who live with cancer.

  • Frances Day

    Yara thank you. I love your compassion and joy.

  • Anonymous


  • Matt and Marylee Robinson

    Marylee and I wish you the best in this effort. I know that it is close to your heart and hope you and your family continue to be well.

  • Debra A Patt MD

    Grateful for the support of LLS in the many patients we serve! Thhank you Yara for your leadership! Amazing! Just like your wonderful mother and grandmother!

  • Megan Helmbrecht

    Yara, I am so proud of you for the effort you are putting forth. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer months before your mom. I know how scary it is. THANK YOU for all you are doing to raise this money for research for a cure. Love, Megan H

  • Bianca Bellavia

    So proud of you, Yara!

  • Sarah Janosek

    Good luck, Yara!

  • Mama ??

    Love you! Keep up the great work!!😘

  • Jackie Price

    Yara you are amazing!!

  • Erica Brownawell

    Keep doing great things!

  • Sanaz Khanbolooki Bill

    Sweet Yara, I have had the same feeling and experience as you did, with my own Mother, and stand beside you and your family as you continue the fight against cancer. With love and gratitude, Sanaz Khanbolooki Bill

  • courtney kriley

    You go, Yara!!!!

  • Kathleen C Mack

    Thank you Fayruz for keeping this cause in our line of sight.

  • Susan Dawson

    Thanks, Yara, for driving this effort to honor your wonderful Mom and family -

  • Stephanie Dempsey

    Great job Yara! Glad to help you get to your goal. Stephanie, Mark, and Kate Dempsey

  • Ester Gamez

    Bravo Yara! Bravo!!!

  • Frances Day

    Hang in there Yara!

  • Donna Budak

    Congrats on all your good work to fight cancer!

  • Brandie Tallman Arnold

    Proud of you in Pennsylvania!

  • Jessi and Alex Wright

    Yara, you are a star! Thanks for doing the hard and good work!

  • Charlotte Herzele

    My daughter has a blood cancer (CML). The research is so important. Go, Yara!

  • Elizabeth Avellan

    Yara, So proud of you for caring to do something greater than yourself. I have so much faith in the future because of the young people who have demonstrated to me that they care for others and for the environment. With love and admiration! Keep up the amazing work!

  • Suzanne McFayden

    In honor of Yara Ben Yousef’s hard work and dedication

  • Carrie Dyer

    Go Yara!

  • Carla McDonald

    In honor of your brave and beautiful mom, Fayruz, who is a beacon of light to so many!

  • Megan Heredia

    Proud of you, Yara, and so happy to support you in this. Much love to your family. Best, Megan

  • Marie Krebs

    Yara, you and your momma are an inspiration to so many. Thank you for your commitment to this very important cause

  • Nicole & Brent Covert

    In honor of our sweet niece, Eloise McIntosh, a 5 yr Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor! Super proud of you, Yara! Doesn’t surprise me as the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  • Mary Herr Tally

    In memory of Judy Waxman--"the best of the best" who we lost this year.

  • Martha De Leon

    Way to go Yara!

  • Laura Estes and Joyce Lauck

    Shine on Yara! Today, this year, and every year of your life!! Laura and Joyce

  • Cathy Northcutt

    Thank you for all that you are doing! Way to go!

  • Carolyn Schwarz

    Go Yara! Thank you for your dedication and leadership!

  • Holly Bohart

    Great work Yara!!

  • Demetrius McDaniel

    Congratulations and best wishes Yara! Demetrius McDaniel

  • Kristin Campbell

    SO happy to help Yara make a difference in the lives of people affected by Cancer. What a powerful mother / duo you are!!!!

  • Familia Flores

    Hi Yara! You might be wondering why our donation ends with the number 18. In Hebrew, 18 signifies the word Chai which means “life.” The word L’Chaim means “to life”and is used in celebratory occasions in anticipation of all good things to come. Chai and L’Chaim seem most appropriate for the many lives you are touching AND will touch as a result your fundraising efforts. We are so proud of you!!! XO

  • Frances Day

    Yara, thank you for your good heart.

  • Yonge Foundation

    Yara, you and your mother are an inspiration. Thank you for your work towards finding a cure.

  • Heather Nichols

    Go, Yara, go!

  • Christine and Lance Kutnick

    You are such an amazing woman. I am so honored that I have gotten to be a part of your world.

  • Brenda Coleman-Beattie

    Yara, You remain awesome and I am so proud of your initiative and commitment. Hugs, Brenda

  • Maica G Jordan

    Proud of the work you are doing - thank you!

  • Susan Lubin

    Go Yara, go!!

  • Mallary & Jason Carroll

    We support you and your compassionate effort to find a cure! XO Mallary and Jason Carroll

  • Frances Day

    Yara this gift is in your honor.

  • Gena Keller

    Congratulations on your successful fundraising campaign!! Great job!

  • Shelly Bain

    Go Team Yara! Woohoo!

  • Vicky Gregg

    Dear Fayruz Your spirit and strength are amazing Love Vicky

  • Celeste & Martin Hubert

    Yara, you are an inspiration as to how to live with spirit and vigor and wisdom. What a blessing you are upon this world, and HOW grateful are we to be able to watch you grow into such a lovely example of kindness and good. May God's blessings unfold upon you a thousandfold.

  • Stacy Armijo

    Go Yara go! Keep up the great work!

  • Arnold Family

    We’re so very proud of you, Yara! You were a tremendous mentor and friend to Ella and many other kids while we lived in Austin and left a lasting impression on our hearts. It’s inspiring to see you do BIG things! Ella thinks it’s ‘super cool’ what you’re doing to give back to help others. Big hugs from The Arnold Family in Nashville!!

  • Kathy Garza Smith

    My youngest sister recovered from a breast cancer diagnosis, and I’m so grateful money continues to go into this cause!

  • Luma Jaffar

    Great work for a great cause Yara. Well done!

  • Amy Blakely Laine

    Way to go Yara!

  • Susie Thorn

    Go get 'em Yara!!!!!!!!!!! Don't bother reading any bad remarks.

  • Betsy Horton

    Yara - you are an amazing young woman. Just like your mom and grandmother!! Good luck!!

  • Kathleen C Mack

    Thank you Yara for your dedication to this important cause. 💕💕💕

  • Donna Ingram

    Great job Yara!

  • Castlen Kennedy

    Thanks for what you are doing, Yara! I lost my grandmother to lymphoma. Hugs to you and your family :)

  • Leslie and Bryan Weston

    Cheering for Team Yara!

  • Sandra Brown

    Thank you Yara for giving light to this very important cause!

  • Jessica Slade

    Yara, thank you for raising funds and awareness for this issue. I admire your passion!

  • Jayden Beatty

    Way to go, Yara!

  • Mary Campana

    I love your courage and strength Yara!!

  • Suhailah Waheed

    Keep up the amazing work, Yara! Happy to support!

  • Nathan Idais

    Go Yara!!!

  • Anonymous

    Zig Ziglar said, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”.You are an inspiration Yara and kids like you will make this world a better place!

  • Ryan Lindsay

    Good luck Yara!

  • Joanna Ridgway

    Thank you for raising funds for this effort! My dad (a current leukemia patient), had benefitted from cutting edge treatments made possible by these initiatives. I’m forever grateful.

  • Tracie Fitting

    Yara I moved from Austin when you were itty bitty and I’ve seen you grow up to be such an amazing, beautiful person that I’m so proud to support. Your mother has the brightest light who has encouraged and has blessed so many lives and you dear have that same beautiful light. Honored to support ??

  • Brenda Ludt

    Yara, so proud of your kindness and goodwill. Best wishes for success in all your endeavors.

  • Kyle Carroll

    So inspired by you, Yara! And always by you, Fayruz! What an amazing, special gift you all are to this life. Thank you for always trying to make this world a little better through your work and your hearts. All my love!

  • Tina Hamilton

    You are an inspiration, Yara!

  • MP Mueller

    Thank you for all you do for others! ❤️👏🏼👏🏼

  • Liz Howard

    Go Yara!!

  • Henley Sims

    A great video for a great cause. Good job, Yara!

  • Lynne Dobson

    It was very inspiring to meet you yesterday, Yara, and talk about some of the causes and people we love, and how we can help others in their honor and memory. You've made such great progress raising these funds in such a short time! I dedicate this donation to Jonna, my precious young friend and her mother, Debi Daughn. We lost Jonna in 1991 at age 9, but she fought valiantly against leukemia. She continues to be a beacon in my philanthropy and lives in my heart every day. Thank you -We are here to add abundance and love to as many as we can.

  • Mae Daniller

    Hope my gift goes through this time, I must have had an operator error last time for this not to take, but I want to be sure this meets your deadline. Proud of all your amazing work on this! Hugs, Mae

  • Anonymous

    Blessing for Yara & her brave mama!!

  • Alexis Ferguson

    Congrats on your fundraising effort!

  • Wendy Wells

    Go Yara!!! So proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished!!

  • Frances Day

    Yara, great job. You rock.

  • Dorothy Drummer

    Yara and everyone she is honoring bt doing this.

  • Rodney Nicholson

    I lost a friend a few years ago to this horrible disease and want to show my support.

  • Sara Hickman

    Thank you for being a shining example of caring in action!

  • Cookie Ruiz

    Yara, we are all so proud of you and are inspired by your voice and your action! Your mother has been an inspiration to me since the day I first met her, so I dedicate my gift to her...for all the lives she's touched, all the miralces she's made happen for so many great causes, and the courage she exemplifies every day. I love you both and look forward to seeing all that you will accomplish in life.

  • Linda Lotz

    In honor of my beautiful niece, Caroline, who beat leukemia and just celebrated her 11th Birthday!

  • Irma Brand

    Great job Yara!

  • Simone Talma Flowers

    Congratulations Yara!

  • Heather Zoumas-Lubeski

    Lucy Wright

  • Kristin Williams

    I’m so proud of you and I can’t wait for our nyc life -Asha

  • Sheena Wilde & Kendra Scott Philanthropy

    Thank you for doing good in your community!

  • Fayruz Benyousef

    Soooo proud of you Miss Yara, MsA Alayk! Love you!

Contact us by email or call 888.LLS.7177.