A Message From The SMAC Executive Director
TO OUR SMAC FAMILY:
I hope this note finds you all healthy and well as we continue to weather this challenging time. It is my pleasure to reach out to you today as SMAC’s first Executive Director.
The past six months have been filled with a number of SMAC milestones, including the launch of SMAC’s central office and our exciting new expansion campaign. We were thrilled to be profiled on national television and across various news outlets which helped spread the SMAC mission and message to new communities across the country.
We were inspired to partner with a number of incredible organizations—such as The Valerie Fund, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Camp Quality, and The Jay Fund - in order to expand SMAC’s capacity for impact. Finally, we were excited to connect and reconnect with so many of you in our SMAC family.
Shortly thereafter, however, our country was overwhelmed by COVID's powerful sweep. Since then, we have all embraced a difficult new normal. School closures and social distancing have placed new burdens on students and parents alike. Teachers have been forced to find new ways to teach and connect with students. The 2019-20 school year ended with distance and virtual learning, and the shape of the 2020-21 school year remains just as uncertain and unsettled.
Despite these circumstances, SMAC has forged ahead, innovative and thriving. Our chapters have launched virtual fundraisers, provided support to front line workers, and devised new ways to help those battling cancer in the face of the COVID threat.
We have already added new chapters to the SMAC network and are looking forward to welcoming more next school year. From Henrico High School in Virginia to Somerville High School, Governor Livingston, and Summit Middle School in New Jersey, we are thrilled to see the SMAC network grow.
We would also like to note that three members of the SMAC Board of Directors - Dr. Barie Salmon, Dr. Tracy Salmon, and Abby Price, RN-BSN - answered the call as frontline medical workers in New York City during the peak of the crisis and made us all proud.
Additionally, over the past two months, so many have raised their voices to protest widespread racial injustice. Through these demonstrations, we have seen the power of grassroots movements and the impact that people - especially young people - can have in effecting change. SMAC, too, hopes to do its part to address racial injustice. In the coming year, we plan to commit resources to empower students and communities to fight back against cancer’s devastating, disproportionate impact on BIPOC communities by organizing new chapters and promoting cancer awareness and prevention campaigns.
We believe that SMAC can have a profound impact on our students and communities, inspiring and empowering people to make a difference in the fight against cancer and beyond. That is why we are eager to meet these challenging times with enthusiasm and resolve.
We look forward to keeping you apprised of the exciting things SMAC will undertake in the coming months. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for all of your support this past year and our wishes for a brighter, healthier second-half of 2020.