Inspiring Communities

Author: Julie Matthews
May 9, 2012

Julie Matthews

Julie Matthews

Director of Content & Social Media at The Side-Out Foundation
Julie blogs about her personal experience with leukemia and life from a patient’s perspective.She also writes about Side-Out news and events.She is a race walker, a dog lover, and a dedicated explore.org #bearcam watcher.
Julie Matthews

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Originally published in the AVCA’s Phenom Magazine, May 2012 (pages 14-15)

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.”
~John Quincy Adams
 

The volleyball community is certainly not lacking in the area of inspirational leaders. There’s Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, Destinee Hooker, Alisha Glass and Blair Brown, to name just a few. You may not recognize the names listed below, but each of these individuals is inspirational.

The following students earned scholarship and/or community service awards for their efforts to educate their communities about breast cancer and to raise funds for breast cancer clinical trials (The Side-Out Protocol and the I-SPY 2 Breast Cancer Clinical Trial) and patient support services.

 

2011 Side-Out Ambassador Program (SOAP) Award winners

Scholarship Awards
Kayleigh Vigh
Rogers High School, Wyoming, MI
Jenna Nichols
Grand Ledge High School, Grand Ledge, MI
Wendy Lemke
Chanhassen High School, Chanhassen, MN
Sarah Hemminger
Somerset Area High School, Somerset, PA
Laurie McNamara
Rice University, Houston, TX
Cosy Burnett
La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, CA
Lauren Rocco
Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD

Community Service Awards
Hannah Aboulhosn
Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA
Jenna Nichols
Grand Ledge High School, Grand Ledge, MI
Kayleigh Vigh
Rogers High School, Wyoming, MI
Lauren Rocco
Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD
Laurie McNamara
Rice University, Houston, TX
Sara Riehle
Fox Valley Lutheran High School, Appleton, WI
Taylor Hall
Vilseck High School, Vilseck, Germany
Wendy Lemke
Chanhassen High School, Chanhassen, MN

Side-Out/AVCA National Dig Pink® Awards
Sarah Hemminger
Somerset Area High School, Somerset, PA
Kayleigh Vigh
Rogers High School, Wyoming, MI
Jenna Nichols
Grand Ledge High School, Grand Ledge, MI

The hope is that Dig Pink events and the Side-Out Ambassador Program (SOAP) inspire students to learn more about breast cancer and to value philanthropy as an important step in advancing clinical research. It is also to encourage a sense of responsibility to serve their communities. What is truly most inspiring though are the students themselves.

Sarah Hemminger decided to attend nursing school following her Dig Pink event while Kayleigh Vigh will give a breast cancer educational presentation to a total of 20,000 students in West Michigan by the end of the year. Laurie McNamara more than tripled the fundraising amount her university raised in 2010 and Jenna Nichols spent several hours shadowing a physician at her local breast care center, where she observed mammogram procedures and a lymph node biopsy.

Wendy Lemke used the knowledge she gained from visiting her local chapter of the American Cancer Society to create informational flyers which she then shared with her teammates. Cosy Burnett added an exciting new element to her school’s fundraiser by organizing pledges for every block, kill, ace, assist and pass. Lauren Rocco organized the event in honor of her 19-year-old cousin who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Hannah Aboulhosn became a public relations expert, helping to make a video for the daily school announcements, involving the school’s dance team and chorus and creating flyers and posters. Taylor Hall united her community of Vilseck, Germany, selling an astonishing 600 t-shirts and involving several sports teams (volleyball, football, tennis and cross country) in Vilseck’s “Dig Pink Blowout”. Sara Riehle created the unique idea of selling pink perennial plants, coining the phrase “Keep the fight alive all year…dig in and plant some pink!”.

The above young women left a lasting impression on their teammates, coaches, parents and fans, but most importantly, they learned that their own actions can make a difference. As Sarah Hemminger so eloquently wrote, “we have proven that eight young women can make a difference in the world and that is something that will always be a part of who I am.”

If you are interested in learning more about SOAP, click here for more details. The 2012 program is now underway!

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