One Project Can Make a Difference

Junior wins an award for her Andre Project and proves the impact of her service.

In August of 2022 Juniors were experiencing a lot of change. Transitioning to an upperclassman and along with this the religion department had been spearheading a brand new idea. This was put into effect right away and the new service projects which are being referred to as ‘Saint Andre Projects’ were born. They were put in place to make service hours a project and make service a more immersive and meaningful experience to the students. 

These juniors worked among their peers to brainstorm and come up with a project that spoke to them. For Junior Addie Miles the number of possibilities made the decision difficult at first, but with the help of religion teacher Mr Cole Hepp her project seemed to be a perfect fit. “At first I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do but Mr Hepp suggested this to me for this one and said I would be a good candidate,” Addie said. 

For a seventeen year old to go out and raise $25,000 is pretty amazing.

— Courtenay Miles

Miles had then made the decision to work with LLS as the “Leukemia and Lymphoma society student visionaries of the year 2023,” she said. The Leukemia and Lymphoma society focuses on blood cancers which often affect bone marrow, the blood cells, the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. “An estimated 1,519,907 people in the United States (US) are living with or in remission from leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs),” states the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Website. These staggering statistics and even Miles’ personal connection to blood cancer through a close family friend made her call to this project even stronger.

To continue to learn more Miles dedicated time starting in September to research blood cancers. Because of her tireless work she was able to win an award. “I won the research mission pillar. There were separate groups, research, patient advocacy, and support. All the candidates were split into these 3 groups and I won my section,” she said. 

Addie with other recipients of different LLS Awards. (Marissa Wiley Photo)

This award and project as a whole was such an amazing opportunity for Miles as she was able to raise an astounding $25,000 for blood cancer research. Even outside peers and mentors could see the impact this had on her life. “It was really neat to see Addie take such an interest and an excitement with the mission of the leukemia and lymphoma society and to see how successful her project was,” Hepp said. 

Even those she spent significantly more time with began to notice what she had learned and how she had been changed. “It has struck a chord with her because we know people in our family and close friends that have had blood cancers so she became much more aware of the types of blood cancers and the effect that it has on particularly young people. It just gave her more awareness about it and awareness about the needs for the treatments,” said her mother, Mrs Courtenay Miles. 

The increased awareness did not just stop at Addie. “It definitely made me more aware. Brought me more awareness for the needs of young people as opposed to adults. I had never thought about that before and it definitely made me realize there needs to be a lot more child focused treatments and therapies rather than trying to lump the kids in with all the adult treatments,” Miles said. 

Addie Miles is presented with an award from the LLS for raising over $25,000 for cancer research.

Addie’s project however took lots of teamwork and communication to reach her final goal and her mother provided the perfect guide for her. “I helped her create a list of all of our friends and family and business contacts that she could ask to try and fundraise from. I sat in with her on her weekly meetings with the leukemia and lymphoma coordinator and I would sit with her and listen in to make sure she is hitting her timing goals and all of her deadlines,” said Miles. “I have to say the team behind the Leukemia

and Lymphoma society, they all get a support team, it has been absolutely amazing. Understanding that the kids have school they have sports that have a whole bunch of other commitments so they work really hard to keep the kids motivated and keep them on track and not let them get overwhelmed but also push them so they are able to reach their goals.” 

The hope that her project inspired her others has come true. “For a seventeen year old to go out and raise $25,000 is pretty amazing. I think it shows the power of hard work and commitment and that anyone could do it if you have the right tools and the right system,” Miles said. 

Addie Miles smiles with Cameron, who is an Honored Hero of the LLS and has been in remission since September 2020 (Marissa Wiley Photo)

The inspiration she has started continues to shine. “I am hoping with it that on one hand it inspires current juniors or rising juniors to plan and set a vision for their own Saint Andre project and also specifically with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society I think gives such great hope for cancer research and helping cancer patients,” said Hepp. 

The research fundraising and awareness continues to grow and anyone can get involved “You can reach out to me ([email protected]) and Mr Hepp has a lot of information about it too it is also online at ,” Addie said.