Nicole Roach and Kate McHale Goodwin are seniors at Metairie Park Country Day. Goodwin is the outside schools liaison for the New Orleans Independent Schools “Relay for Life” and Roach was the Experience Co-Chair. Roach and Goodwin together helped bring “Relay for Life” to Country Day; “Relay for Life” is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is solely coordinated by volunteers in many communities and 27 countries worldwide.

For the past few years Roach and Goodwin have participated in “Relay for Life.” Goodwin focused on helping New Orleans schools raise money and participate in the event, communicating to administrators, teachers and student representative from the other schools. Roach created the schedule of the event, selected the performers, organized the luminaria ceremony and had an overall pride in putting on the event.

One of the events the two planned included the Luminaria Ceremony for “Relay for Life.” Guests donated $10 to purchase a luminaria, a paper bag each guest could decorate in honor or memory of a loved one. The bags were filled with candles and placed along the front circle of Country Day.

Student Activist: Nicole Roach and Kate McHale Goodwin

“It’s important to be involved in and give back to your community because it’s an aspect of who you are. Being part of a community means that you are connected to something bigger and more important than yourself,” says Goodwin.

Roach and Goodwin wanted to make “Relay for Life” a success because it was hosted on their school’s property. Because of their hard efforts, “Relay for Life” 2018 raised around $65,000, well-over donations from previous years.

“I’ve gained a sense of purpose from my involvement. To me, being an activist means standing up for causes that I am passionate about and hopefully encouraging others to do the same,” says Roach.

Roach hopes to attend Duke University after she graduates from high school; she’s unsure about her future career but would like to explore French, Math, Architecture or civil engineering.

Goodwin hasn’t narrowed down her college choices yet, but is deciding among University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tulane University. Goodwin hopes to study medicine and become a pediatrician.