PMSA Students Walk Michelle’s Mile to Benefit Classmate
May 5, 2016 10:57 AM
Students at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy walked together on April 22 to continue to help a classmate who was stricken with a life-threatening autoimmune respiratory condition.
During "Michelle’s Mile," students pledged money toward how many laps or miles they could complete during their wellness class period that day. The money, which totaled $1,487 after all pledges were collected, will go toward the medical bills for Michelle Harris, a senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.
"It’s a great way to help a fellow friend and it’s a great way to have the whole student body," said Victoria Mota, a PMSA senior and an organizer of the Michelle’s Mile. "I’m glad this event was a great success. With this atmosphere at PMSA, we are one big family, and you have to help one of your fellow brothers or sisters out."
Michelle spent five months in the hospital in Chicago and in Birmingham, Alabama, for a possible lung transplant due to the condition. She eventually recovered enough to be able to return home in April and is now planning to attend prom on Friday and to walk across the stage to receive her diploma at graduation on May 21. The medical treatment cost thousands of dollars, so her classmates at PMSA held a series of fundraisers after they returned from winter break in January, raising more than $1,000 selling T-shirts and competing in a handball tournament in February.
Mr. Vince Stubstad, a health and wellness teacher at PMSA, said that students, faculty, and staff were eager to help out anyway they could.
"We’ve had a couple of big donations, but we’ve had students, a dollar here, a dollar there, and because of them, we’re going to go well over our goal," he said. "They know where the money is going. In this case, we know every single dollar is going to Michelle Harris and her family to help with the medical bills. We know who it’s helping."
Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, said that she was proud of the students’ work.
"Part of education is finding different ways to serve our community and each other, and this is an excellent example of our students coming together to help one of our own," Dr. Karvelas said. "I am proud of the effort, and I congratulate our students for doing so much for Michelle and I am especially that she is back home with us and ready to graduate with her class."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that she also is proud that the students came together in a common cause.
"I am excited that the students are able to come together and work together for a common cause while emphasizing fitness," she said. "I congratulate the students on their efforts and I wish Michelle well in her recovery."
Welcome home, Michelle!