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Distinguished Finalist

Sainamitha Palnati

Glendale, Arizona

Sainamitha Palnati, 17, of Glendale, Ariz., a senior at Mountain Ridge High School, played a key role in her town’s 2017 Relay for Life, serving as entertainment chair, coordinating social media, and supporting fundraising and recruiting efforts for an event that drew 400 people and raised more than $43,000 for the American Cancer Society. Inspired to volunteer by stories of her late grandmother, who died from cancer, Sainamitha coordinated a pageant, a lip sync battle and other activities and games to entertain participants throughout the 12-hour event.