It’s a new school year, and students are already making a difference in new and inspiring ways. We're thrilled to highlight one remarkable example from a group of students who attend Southampton and Madrid-Waddington High Schools, who recently shared the Daniela Conte Foundation's mission during the SkillsUSA leadership conference in Albany.
During the conference's closing ceremony, these students shared Daniela's story, drawing attention to the harsh reality of childhood cancer. Through an innovative poster presentation, they emphasized the alarming underfunding of pediatric cancer research, revealing that only four percent of the national cancer research budget addresses childhood cancer, despite 15,190 American kids being diagnosed in 2023 alone.
Their focus on the DCF mission was inspired by September’s “Going Gold” campaign in local schools. This not only highlights the impact of awareness campaigns within schools but also underscores the ripple effect of inspiration and support such initiatives create. When kids inspire each other, their voices are amplified by the collective strength of their peers.
The students driving this impactful presentation were Michelle Mendoza-Nava, Baiylee Jessmer, Nadia Nunn, and Melina Reymus. Michelle, a student athlete, and high school junior, learned about DCF and the need for childhood cancer awareness when her soccer team took up the DCF cause during the “Going Gold” initiative. For her group’s community service project, Michelle and her peers chose to use the state-wide platform to spread even more awareness about the realities of childhood cancer. Thanks to their presentation, awareness for childhood cancer and the DCF mission was shared with hundreds of attendees and students who attended this year’s regional SkillsUSA leadership conference in Albany.
The dedication of these exemplary students aligns seamlessly with the compassionate spirit of the entire Suffolk County School District.
In a world where empathy and compassion thrive, it warms our hearts to be part of a
community where our kids stand up to make a difference in the lives of their peers and neighbors. To Michelle, Baiylee, Nadia and Melina: Thank you for your dedication and for becoming advocates for children battling cancer. Your efforts inspire a new generation of change-makers, and together, we are making a significant impact in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Written by: Katia Conte, President/Co-Founder