Youth Ambassador Spotlight: Katy Gray - NFCR


Youth Ambassador Spotlight: Katy Gray

Katy Gray Youth Ambassador Cancer Research

The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Youth Ambassador Program is a unique opportunity for top high school students across the country. These students serve as leaders in raising awareness and support for cutting-edge cancer research. Many youth ambassadors combine their passion for sports, science, and/or the arts with community service to bring new energy to cancer research fundraising. Katy Gray, however, was inspired by the recent diagnoses of her beloved grandmother.

“In late August 2020, my grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Katy explained. “As the cancer progressed, so did my knowledge of this illness.”

The more Katy learned about pancreatic cancer, and cancer in general, the more passion she discovered in the cause. It was predicted that by the end of 2020 more than 1 million individuals will have been diagnosed with cancer. This shocking revelation inspired Katy to raise funds to support research in cancer treatments, detection, and ultimately, a cure.

“This fundraiser is not only to raise awareness and money for cancer research,” Katy stated, “but also, to ensure that other families do not have to experience this difficult event in the future.”

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Katy was able to hold an extremely successful fundraiser with the support of over 100 family members and friends. She moved her efforts online and through personal outreach and social media, has raised nearly $16,000. Even after meeting her target of $15,000, Katy is eager to continue raising funds for this important cause.

“My grandmother is an inspiration to my family and will continue to be for a long time,” Katy said, acknowledging her love for her grandmother as her motivation.

NFCR’s Youth Ambassador Program

NFCR Youth Ambassadors gain incredible skills including leadership, critical thinking, persuasion, and problem-solving skills in addition to making important professional relationships at an early age. The highly competitive program has alums at all of the best schools, including Cornell University, Brown University, and the University of Notre Dame. Learn more about the program and how to apply by calling NFCR at (301) 654-1250 or emailing Brian Wachtel at

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