Brandon teen pursues ‘Student of the Year’

Staff report
Annika Noem

Annika Noem wants to be a “student of the year.”
The Brandon teen is one of seven candidates who has signed up for the Student of the Year fundraising competition to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 
For seven weeks, Noem and the six other candidates will appeal to family and friends to raise funds, which deploys The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to advance breakthrough treatments and supports the nearly 1.4 million blood cancer patients in the U.S. The candidates/teams who raise the most money at the end of the seven-week competition earn the title of Student(s) of the Year and a college scholarship.
Students of the Year is a philanthropic leadership development program for exemplary high school students. During the campaign, participants foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management in order to raise funds for LLS. Top local fundraisers become eligible to win the national title. The students raise money in honor of a local patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from a blood cancer.
Every dollar is one vote, Noem said, and all donations are tax deductible. 
“It’s amazing to watch these young women and men work so hard to fundraise and help us cure cancer,” said Teri Cannon, LLS’s Minnesota, North and South Dakota Chapter executive director. “Students of the Year resonates with Generation Z, who want to leave their mark in the world. As the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancers, LLS has a 70-year legacy of innovating in the fundraising category and Students of the Year is our newest addition. The one-of-a-kind program brings together students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are compassionate and driven to reach their own personal fundraising best.”
For motivated high school students, Students of the Year ensures they stand out among their peers when engaging with colleges and future employers. Through guidance and mentoring from experienced professionals at LLS, they will make a real impact in the fight against blood cancers. 
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 also 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.
To learn more about the Students of the Year program and how it might work for you or someone you know, visit For more information about LLS, visit


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