Students of the Year Washington DC
Julia Elman | Team Juliana
Team Juliana is led by SOY candidates Julia Elman and Grace Barnes. This spring, Julia and Grace will be graduating from Washington-Lee High School: a momentous milestone that would have included Juliana. Team Juliana fights to give child cancer patients the possibility to grow up and follow their dreams, something Juliana will never get to do. To learn more about Juliana's story, go to our Team Juliana page.
I'm a senior at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia and plan to study physics and mathematics next year in college. After Juliana’s passing, I founded and serve as president of Washington-Lee’s Cancer Education and Action Club, raising thousands of dollars for various nonprofits dedicated to ending cancer. I am proud to be a four year member of the amazing Team Juliana for Light the Night, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for LLS while providing an avenue for friends and family to come together and honor Juliana each year. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has always held a special place in my heart, because my grandmother passed away from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). CLL now has a survival rate of 83% because of the advancements in treatments funded by LLS. I fundraise in honor of my grandmother and Juliana, so that in the future, others can win their fight against blood cancers.
I am honored to participate in the 2019 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 proud to be raising critical dollars in honor of a young patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from a blood cancer. Each dollar is a vote. The candidate team that raises the most money at the end of the seven weeks is named Student(s) 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.
In the weeks following Juliana's death, her friends banded together during the beginning of their high school career to honor her memory. Little did we know, this was the beginning of an amazing relationship between Team Juliana and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
That fall, Juliana's family and friends banded together to create Team Juliana for our first ever Light the Night walk. Since then, Team Juliana has raised tens of thousands of dollars over the span of 4 Light the Night walks. A huge thank you goes to everyone who has ever supported our efforts!
However, we're nowhere near done.
Members of my club at Washington-Lee, the Cancer Education and Action Club, regularly fundraise, attend events, and volunteer to help make our world cancer-free.
Throughout these past three and a half years, my heart has been filled with the love of the beautiful community Team Juliana has created. My family has always held a special place in our hearts for the ending of leukemia, which took my grandmom. Every day, I feel the love of grandmom and Juliana, and I know that I'm honoring them and fighting for something truly important.