PLEASANT HILL — A year ago Newton High School graduate Aliya Stine envisioned giving blood as a common cause to bridge political discord and bond people together. Her “Be The Red” campaign not only earned a $1,000 Community Blood Center/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship, it inspired the CBC high school T-shirt Newton donors received at their Feb. 15 blood drive.
The CBC high school blood drive T-shirt features Aliya’s original drawing of a waving American flag with three red stripes, the others white and grey, and her message, “Without You There’s Only White and Blue — Be The Red.”
Aliya was a member of the National Honor Society, the student sponsor group for Newton blood drives. Her T-shirt clearly met the “Lead The Way” scholarship challenge of inspiring students to donate. The blood drive totaled 41 donors, including 18 first-time donors and 34 donations for 126 percent of the collection goal.
“We did put the T-shirt on all the posters and that Aliya designed it, and we did have a full schedule,” said NHS Advisor and blood drive coordinator Taylor Stevens.
“Everyone was aware that Aliya designed the shirt,” said NHS President Kacie Tackett. “Plus this sophomore class had a lot of people turning 16 and they really wanted to donate.”
One of those sophomore donors was NHS member Ethan Gross. “I do like it,” Ethan said about Aliya’s campaign. “I like the ‘Without you there’s only white and blue.’ We basically fill in the red. I always wanted to design a T-shirt, and I think I could design a t-shirt.”
Another sophomore making his first donation was Aliya’s brother Cameron. “She’s creative,” he said. “Like when she was running for NHS, playing sports and coming up with ideas.”
“Be The Red” held a special meaning for Carley Marple, a sophomore inspired to make her first donation at the Newton blood drive. “My dad had leukemia,” said Carley. “He passed away when I was 4.”
“To everyone donating, thank you for your donation and for helping someone in need,” said Aliya, who is a Troy native majoring in biology at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. “The political aspect of the design is still a hot topic so I hope it will inspire people to talk about politics and share their opinions,”
The $5,000 Lead The Way Creative Scholarship program is supported by a grant from Vectren. CBC and Vectren annually award $1,000 in college tuition assistance to five graduating, college-bound seniors whose high school hosts a CBC blood drive.
Applications must be postmarked by April 20. Examples of winning campaigns and the 2018 scholarship application are available at www.GivingBlood.org. For more information contact Cristina Pickle at BloodEducation@GivingBlood.org.
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