Student of the Year

Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) senior Sophia LeRose was named The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year at the Grand Finale in late February, after raising $44,450 for the organization. Sophia was inspired to get involved with LLS after watching her grandfather lose his fight to leukemia less than 12 hours after his diagnosis in September last year. “A week after my grandfather passed away, Hadley Weiss came to TPHS to present the idea to ASB about a student fundraising money for LLS,” she shared. “I knew I was destined to jump on the opportunity, so I did, and ended up being selected to represent one of 14 teams around San Diego to partake in the Student of the Year campaign.”

Throughout the seven-week campaign, Sophia leveraged her personal networks, obtained corporate matches and sponsorships, held three restaurant fundraisers, and organized two major events, far surpassing her goal of raising $25,000. “Once they announced my name [as the winner], I definitely became emotional thinking about how proud my grandpa would’ve been of me and my team for raising so much money in just a short amount of time,” Sophia said. “I am so excited to see my fundraising efforts help find cures for blood cancers, and support patients and their families.” The San Diego/Hawaii chapter’s 14 teams raised a total of $248,267 for LLS this year. Sophia will take her motivation and success to Duke University in the fall, where she will attend school and play lacrosse.

LLS is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures, and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients. The Student of the Year campaign is an exciting leadership development and philanthropy program in which high school students participate in a fundraising competition to benefit LLS. Learn more at