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Local teen accepted into St. Jude leadership society

A local teenager is trying to raise $2,500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ashlyn Wilson learned about St. Jude several years ago, when one of her friends in junior high was treated at the children’s hospital. The research hospital treats children with cancer and rare diseases at no cost to the patients or their families.

“I wanted to learn what he went through and how the whole experience was for him. Once I got through there, I wanted to do more to help other people like him and to keep making sure they have the funds to do what they do,” said Wilson.

In October, Wilson attended a two-day conference at the hospital in Memphis, Tenn. through the National Society of High School Scholars, she said. After the conference, Wilson was motivated to apply for St. Jude’s Leadership Society, and was selected earlier in January, said her mother, Niki Wilson.

To become an ambassador for St. Jude, Ashlyn Wilson has to raise $2,500 for the hospital and attend monthly leadership meetings in Baton Rouge, La. All of the funds Wilson raises go to the hospital.

“Something as simple as $3 could help provide isolation masks. Even just the littlest things can help provide things for the patients,” said Wilson.

Wilson is a member of the Juniorette Diamonds, the teen branch of Picayune’s Civic Woman’s Club, and the group voted to help kick start her fundraising efforts in December by contributing $100, said club member Darlene Adams. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs has a partnership with St. Jude, so the local chapter of the club’s members were educated on the organization, said Adams, but they also wanted to show support for Wilson.

“It really means a lot, because I wasn’t expecting them to do that,” Wilson said.

Niki Wilson said she is proud of her daughter’s fundraising efforts.

“We’re glad that she’s chosen such a credible place and a place that just does so many wonderful things for families that are going through such a difficult time. It’s a pretty big undertaking for a 16-year-old,” said Niki Wilson.

To donate to Ashlyn Wilson’s fundraising effort, visit http://events.stjude.org/Ashlyn_Wilson or speak with her directly.