INDIANAPOLIS (January 16, 2012) – Roche Diagnostics and Indiana Blood Center have teamed up to create a $70,000 scholarship program for seniors in 174 high schools throughout the state who host blood drives at their school. High school student blood donations are an important component of the blood supply distributed to communities across Indiana, accounting for 16 percent of blood donations that are distributed to Indiana hospital patients. A $400 scholarship will be awarded to one senior from every participating high school.
On Wednesday, January 18, New Palestine High School will host a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. It is one of nearly 60 high school blood drives being held across the state in January and February.
“We’re so impressed with the dedication of Indiana’s high school students who choose to donate blood and help improve the lives of others,” said Jack Phillips, president and CEO of Roche Diagnostics’ North American operations, which are based in Indianapolis. “We want to honor that dedication by providing an opportunity to help them pay for some of the rising college costs they face.”
Students must be a senior, participate in two blood drives during the academic school year either as a donor or student coordinator/recruiter, plan to attend an institution of higher education in Indiana, and study science, math, technology or another health-related field. Winning scholars will be selected by each high school and will receive red honor cords to be worn during graduation ceremonies, as well as a certificate of recognition.
“It’s really quite amazing that our high school student donors account for such a significant percentage of our collected blood units,” said Byron Buhner, president and CEO of Indiana Blood Center. “These kids are having a remarkable and life-saving impact with their generous gift of blood, and we can’t thank them enough for setting this kind of leadership example.”
Last year, Indiana Blood Center’s high school blood drives resulted in 24,000 donation attempts from high schools across the state. Buhner says by donating blood, students learn the values of volunteering, community involvement and altruism. “They discover that giving blood is fast, easy and painless,” he said. “We hope that giving today when they are young will create a life-long practice of giving blood.”
The scholarship program is not the first time Roche Diagnostics has partnered with Indiana Blood Center. Roche also hosts employee blood drives and is the first company to support Indiana Blood Center with a co-branded mobile unit.