From a lemonade stand to a school-wide social media campaign, senior Viana Rodrigues has been advocating for breast cancer awareness from a young age


Source: Viana Rodrigues

Senior Viana Rodrigues wears her pink attire in memory of her grandmother who passed from breast cancer and also to raise awareness among women in her social media campaign.





CVHS senior Viana Rodrigues never had a chance to meet her grandmother. Her grandmother and her namesake passed away, due to untreated breast cancer, only a month after Rodrigues was born. 

“My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I never actually got to meet her, she passed away a month after I was born. And actually, we share a middle name together. And so from that, my family has been very involved in a way, trying to spread breast cancer awareness through just telling people about the importance of mammograms,” says Rodrigues.

Rodrigues’ activism started at an early age.

“When I was in elementary school I organized a lemonade stand with this organization called The Rose which serves low income women and provides them with a cancer care resources so I donated around $180 to the organization so that also stemmed some inspiration to continue that initiative towards this October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

Recently, she decided, with the help of CVHS Dean Melissa Matsu to use the CVHS Instagram page to help spread awareness by getting students to wear pink attire and caption who they were wearing it for. 

“I initiated this photo submission through the Carnegie Instagram for students to send in pictures of them wearing any pink attire. And in this way it just spreads the overall awareness of this disease which is breast cancer, and reminds everyone just to just to wear pink,” says Rodrigues.

Viana Rodrigues sent in an informational flyer that she used from another time she was raising awareness for the cause. It has educational information that explains things to look out for, why to stay healthy, and statistics relating to breast cancer. For example 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, making this a topic of great importance. Not only does it affect the person who is diagnosed, it also affects their loved ones around them. 

In her social media campaign, Rodrigues has been circulating this informational flyer to the public. []
“Breast cancer has a very personal impact for everyone and it has impacted people who I would have otherwise not have known. So, my friends like Ashton or Gabby and or Dylan, who are all students at Carnegie have some family member who were diagnosed or impacted with breast cancer so you begin to realize how big of an issue this is and that it really does need dedication, time, and research to try to find a cure,” says Rodrigues.

Rodrigues hopes to continue raising awareness in the future since this is something she is passionate about. This photo submission project only seems to be the beginning of what she plans to do for raising awareness for breast cancer. 

“Hopefully once the Corona stops impacting us the way it is right now, I want to just keep doing any new ways of spreading awareness, it could be through another fundraiser, or just by telling people about the importance of breast cancer awareness, research, and getting mammograms and yeah so I would just keep trying to do unique ways of sharing that information to everyone.” said Rodrigues.

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Getting involved in this movement yourself is easier than ever, with resources all over the internet and a plethora of organizations that would gladly help you with your campaign. Any donations raised, awareness spread, or minds informed can go a long way in this battle against breast cancer. 

Rodrigues had some advice for the budding CVHS activists looking for a way to get started organizing around their cause:

“Well first of all I would say do your research. Look for organizations that you believe serve some sort of a community so I thought of the rose because they target low income, women and then. Then just ask around, people to help you like Ms. Matsu She was someone who really did help me. And don’t be afraid to, to just do it because even though it might be a lot of work to like it wasn’t a ton of work to do this submission photo submission project but just, it feels good in the end to be able to successfully do something and spread awareness for a cause that you’re truly passionate about.”