But Landry’s involvement over the past year with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has also been inspired by his interests in public policy and advocacy, with a focus on equity and accessibility within the medical field.
Landry was recently recognized by the Society, as well as the Natick School Committee (about 11 minutes into the Natick Pegasus recording), for his leadership efforts in raising $21,134 to support blood cancer research, advocacy, and patient support through the LLS Student Visionaries of the Year program. This philanthropic leadership development program invites high school students to spearhead a 7-week fundraising campaign—with months of planning beforehand—and compete to raise the most money.
Landry led a team under the program called Fund the Future that included his parents, other family members, and friends from Natick and surrounding communities. “At the beginning of the campaign, each fundraising team chooses a pillar with which their reason for joining most closely aligns,” Landry says, and for him that was policy and advocacy.
Since his junior year at Natick High, Landry had been part of a Youth Advisory Council to State Senate President Karen Spilka that meets throughout the school year to discuss topics of interest to young voters, and to draft related legislation. “The idea is that the Youth Advisory Council is a direct liaison between state legislators and student voices,” says Landry, who has written bills on gun control and school safety as well as on fertility preservation and medical debt assistance.
Landry first learned about the LLS Student Visionaries program through friend Rohan Bhattacharyya, now a UMass Amherst student. Bhattacharyya asked Landry if he’d be interested in keeping the program going in Natick, which had been involved for 6 years.
“Although I had never done any type of serious fundraising work before, I was intrigued by the opportunity and agreed,” Landry says.
The team’s primary methods of fundraising included using social media and making personal asks via letters and emails.
“We also held multiple smaller fundraisers such as tents at the Dover Market and Natick Farmers Market, a March Madness Basketball Pool, and a used sneaker drive. I would say that the fundraising started off a bit slow but definitely picked up in the last few weeks after we sent follow-up emails to our contact lists,” he says.
Landry’s group placed 5th out of more than 20 teams from throughout New England.
Grateful to have been part of the Student Visionaries program, Landry now looks to stay involved with the Society through its Junior Leadership Team.
Landry will attend the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and intends to major in public policy.
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