Insights and inspiration to help you continually grow in your leadership roles within your organization and community.

Leading for Impact and Relevance from South Fayette High School in Pittsburgh

Can high school students lead in a way that is impactful and relevant? Just ask cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. This post was written by guest contributors Morgan Clark and Olivia Brennan, South Fayette High School Class of 2023. The story was recommended by Felix Yerace, CMIT, and a teacher in Leadership Studies at Fayette High. It is a tribute to leadership at every level.

A “Mini-THON” is an event that high schools can hold based on Penn-State University’s 48-hour “THON,” which raises money for Four Diamonds. Four Diamonds provides support for families whose children are battling pediatric cancer at Penn State – Hershey Medical Center. Throughout the year, our school, South Fayette High School, located outside of Pittsburgh, holds events such as “Play for the Kids” games, car washes, restaurant nights, and more to raise money for our Mini-THON.

The event at South Fayette started in 2013 and has continued to be a special night for our school ever since. We are enrolled in both Honors Management and Marketing that organizes the event, as well as CHS Leadership Studies II. By being a part of both classes, we have been able to apply what we have learned from our Leadership Studies class to our groups in the Management and Marketing class. Mini-THON Inspires a Shared Vision by bringing together not only the high school students but the entire South Fayette community to fight this awful disease.

Our vision is exceeding the amount raised from the previous year. In 2023, our goal was $275,000 and we are proud to say that we raised $336,140.10 this year for children fighting cancer. As we are preparing to graduate, we could not be more thankful to say we were a part of such a successful cause. Some people underestimate how much of a difference an event like this makes in these children’s lives. After reflecting on our event, we are so grateful to have been involved in this program and have been able to apply our knowledge to organizations such as Mini-THON and Four Diamonds.


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