Backpacks have replaced sunscreen as everyone shifts into full-on “Back to School" mode. At the California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN), another school year means the opportunity to bring a powerful message of hope to high school students throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Who doesn’t remember one of the most significant rites of passage of the high school experience: getting a driver’s license? What some high school students don’t know, however, is that they will also be asked at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to decide whether or not they would like to register as potential organ and tissue donors.
With this in mind, CTDN partners with area high schools to deliver presentations designed to educate students about organ and tissue donation. We bring to light the latest donation statistics, including the fact, for instance, that right here in San Mateo county, nearly 650 local residents are in need of life-saving organ transplants. For many students, these presentations offer them the unique opportunity to meet a parent who talks about what it means to them to have a son or daughter who became a donor, or a person whose life was saved by a transplant.
As we close each presentation, we ask that students return home and share what they’ve learned with their family members.
So, goodbye summer, hello another school year. High school students will learn lots of lessons this year, and we are happy to help inform them that giving life and hope through organ and tissue donations is one of the most important things to know.
Ayanna Anderson, the author of this article is the community development liaison for the California Transplant Donor Network. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (510) 251-7003 for more information on organ/tissue donation, or to request a presentation at a local high school.