Students from four Oklahoma high schools were recognized Thursday by Oklahoma First Lady Kim Henry at a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion for their participation in Oklahoma Students Care. Oklahoma Students Care is a statewide initiative to encourage students from across the state to establish cancer awareness programs in their schools and raise money to assist Oklahomans suffering from cancer.
Wilson High School, Pawhuska High School, Byng High School and Heritage Hall Upper School were selected as the schools with the most effective programs in the state. The students raised awareness of cancer with a variety of activities, including a “pink out” football game, school assemblies and cancer prevention brochures and posters. Fundraising activities included selling T-shirts and wristbands, auctioning the principal’s parking spot, teacher dares, penny wars and a community carnival.
“I am very proud of the leadership, creativity and passion of these student leaders,” Henry said. “We know that if we can reach our young people early enough with positive messages about eating well, exercising regularly and eliminating tobacco, we can raise a healthier generation of Oklahomans and reduce the impact of cancer. The money they raised will be used to provide a variety of support services for patients right here in Oklahoma.”
Cancer takes a significant toll on Oklahomans, according to Robert S. Mannel, M.D., director of the OU Cancer Institute, which organized Oklahoma Students Care.
“We have one of the worst cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States,” Mannel said. “Each year, approximately 7,500 Oklahomans die of cancer, and with healthier lifestyles, we can prevent about 40 percent of those deaths. Our state’s student leaders will help change those numbers.”
Students recognized from Wilson High School include Malorie Shepard, Caleb Fulton, Bree Labeth, Cody Morse, Lesli Brookshire, Josh Gunter, Shelby Hacker, Rachel Cain, Hailey Gray, Jake Laster, Rachel Shores, Hector Rodriguez, Ashley Barnes, Bobby McKay, Kelcey Yanez, Paige Way, Brock Goode, Blayke Hunziker and Kandice Cain.
Students recognized from Pawhuska High School include Stephen Bible, Kaci Bute, Lauren Clifton, Jordan Garner, Alexia Hale, Ginny Horn, Harmony Hughes, Faith Kennedy, Mallorie McCartney, Jamee Miller, Sadie Patterson, Dax Perrier, Hank Powell, Ashton Sellers, Logan Shuping, Kaylyn Smith, Ashli Sutton, Delaney Sweeden, Kadie Waddle, Bridget West and Matt Priest.
Students recognized from Byng High School include Gentry Fisher, Jennifer O’Grady, Laura Strong, Katelyn Jones, Shundiin Bohan, Brenna Williamson, Taylor Hall, Heather Kimmel, Shay Grove, Shellie Bynum, Clinton Humphers, Blake Barnes, Britney Morris, Katelyn Holmes, Ashley Ana Scott, Sentro Burns, Dayton Hendricks, Justin Frazier, Danielle Manuel and Ryan Williams.
Students recognized from Heritage Hall Upper School include William Dace, Meridith Harris, Elizabeth Franklin, Max Federman, Collin Groves, Brooke Bogert, Jesse Brown, Harrison Hoss, Bennett Beard, Mary Louise Valuck, Emily Kate Hudiburg, Clara Curtis, Kathlin Winter, Elaine Cole, Matt Morrow, Elyse Collier, Zoe Butts and Libby Mitchell.