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Pinktober Initiative

High school students eventually pushed to make Pinktober into more of an awareness campaign. They started to think how to frame the message around “Why wear pink?” rather than just wearing it.

15 Oct 2020
School News
Melissa Pellerin Pinktober Bracelet
Melissa Pellerin Pinktober Bracelet

Pinktober Initiative
Interview with Mr. Schnell.

Mr. Schnell, could you tell us more about the history of Pinktober at AAS Moscow? 
Mr. Schnell: Back in 2017 our high school student club, Peer Helpers, first organized the Pinktober Initiative. It started out as just wearing Pink”, and initially not all students understood what it was all about. High school and even middle and elementary school students hosted some bake sales and raised funds that we sent to a number of breast cancer foundations. It was a good start. 

What happened in the following years?
Mr. Schnell: Once we’ve established the ICC (Inner Club Council which is a group of leadership representatives from all the HS clubs), students thought it would be a good idea to turn Pinktober into an annual initiative.
High school students eventually pushed to make Pinktober into more of an awareness campaign. They started to think about how to frame the message around “Why wear pink?” rather than just wearing it. Especially two years ago when one of our teachers, Melissa Pellerin, was diagnosed with cancer, students felt strongly that it would have more meaning within a larger context and audience at AAS.

How did Pinktober at AAS evolve since then?
Mr. Schnell: We decided that the ICC can take over Pinktober with each student club contributing to making the initiative more impactful at AAS. For example, the National Honor Society published the brochure with Melissa’s poem (insert link) and created visual statistics that helped our community understand the impact of oncology on women across the world.  

Did any other AAS divisions get involved in Pinktober?
Mr. Schnell: High school students got the Elementary School involved through the Global Impact Club and the Student Council. Together with divisional student council representatives, we ended up creating a school-wide awareness campaign using visuals, language, and infographics that students in Middle and Elementary could relate to. Student Council reps would also go into each class and talk about the meaning of Pinktober.

How did Pinktober affect the culture at AAS Moscow?
Mr. Schnell: It has definitely been an opportunity for all of us to experience our school’s guiding statements, especially “Care”, “Contribute”, and “Courage”. The PTO, the teachers, our alumni, our students, it seems that everyone feels more connected through this cause and we know that together we can make a bigger impact, but also that we are always here for each other when needed. This year it’s pink everywhere at AAS, from virtual calls to classrooms, everyone would wear it: Elementary School, Middle School, High School.


Have you been raising breast/prostate cancer awareness at your university or place of work? Send us a photo or video to alumni@aas.ru! We will give away one AAS Pink Hoodie to the best photo or video submitted by October 31!

Wearing Pinktober Hoodie

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