College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Recognition Round-up: LLS Students of Year Team Raises $146,000, Emma Scielzo ’21 Receives Congressional Award Gold Medal, Social Venture by LearnServe Fellow Maya Grebowsky ’22 Advances to Next Round

Maryam Garavi ’21 and Jules Freeman ’22 Lead Team to Raise $146,000 for LLS

A team of Upper School students raised a staggering $146,000 in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Students of the Year campaign, a seven-week fundraising challenge. Team Panthers Against Cancer 3.0 was comprised of team leaders Maryam Garavi ’21 and Jules Freeman ’22 and Ava Curley ’22, Daniella Nichols ’22, Sumner Bradley ’22, Chloe Dionisio ’22, Ella Banks ’22, and Natalie Kempf ’21.

From Jan. 18 to the Grand Finale Competition on March 7, the team hosted fundraising events, secured corporate support, promoted their campaign on social media, and created awareness for the life-saving research funded by LLS. The students worked tirelessly for months before the campaign officially kicked off to plan and prepare.

Their impressive total earned the team two Top Fundraiser Awards, providing them the opportunity to link their names to an LLS research portfolio, and helped this year’s Students of the Year set a new national record of $2.7 million.

Students of the Year Senior Chapter Director Jenny Siler said, “Throughout the campaign, I was continually impressed with the team, as well as the incredible support they received from their school and peers. Team Panthers Against Cancer 3.0 is filled with bright, insightful, compassionate, and dedicated students who truly understand the spirit of giving back and helping others.”

Emma Scielzo ’21 Receives Congressional Award Gold Medal

Emma Scielzo 2020

Over three years ago, Emma Scielzo ’21 joined the Congressional Award program, an initiative of the U.S. Congress that promotes focused goal-setting and dedicated work in four categories: voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration. (It is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, an international program that Holton began offering several years ago.) This winter, Emma earned her Gold Medal, considered to be the pinnacle achievement of the program.

Emma says that she found the program challenging, but very satisfying. “I like the fact that it is a long-term achievement with lots of different goals. The most time-intensive was the volunteer service requirement. My goal was to have a direct positive impact on children and teens in my community to help them have healthier and more enriched lives and help them build skills and confidence. For personal development, I worked on developing my leadership and communication skills through various initiatives. For physical fitness, I focused on improving my dance technique and flexibility, learning new dance styles, and improving my performance quality. Finally, for my exploration, I took full responsibility for planning all aspects of a trip to Spain. This was challenging and interesting because I navigated a foreign country and immersed myself in Spanish culture. The process of working towards this achievement has been long and difficult. I am very glad, however, that I followed through and achieved my goals, while learning many new skills along the way.”

Social Venture by LearnServe Fellow Maya Grebowsky ’22 Advances to Next Round

Maya Grebowsky 2020

Maya Grebowsky ’22 also spent countless hours immersed in an extracurricular program that builds leadership skills and focuses on community outreach--in her case as a LearnServe Fellow. A non-profit organization, LearnServe International helps “the rising generation of young leaders, problem solvers, and entrepreneurs create sustainable, community-based change.” In its Fellows Program, students design and launch their own social ventures to benefit their neighborhoods and/or schools. Along the way, they connect with like-minded students from public, independent, and charter schools across the D.C. area, meet local organizations tackling major issues locally, and work closely with business mentors.

For her project, Maya focused on creating toiletry bags for homeless women. She developed a project plan, complete with a budget, interviewed the directors at local shelters, and put together a prototype. She presented all of her findings and her proposal to a panel of judges who determined if Maya's project was concrete enough to move to the next “Incubator” phase and to receive funding. Maya raised $500 on her own and her project was approved without conditions to advance to the next round.

LearnServe International Programs Manager Florence Rivkin wrote in her congratulatory email to Maya that this “is a huge accomplishment” and is an invaluable skill-building experience.