Mover and Shaker of the Month – Rachel Karman

By Paula Green

        Hampton High School sophomore Rachel Karman celebrated her “sweet 16th birthday” in a very special way.  Instead of having a party for herself, she decided to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  She embarked on this initiative as part of Student of the Year challenge with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia chapter.

       Rachel was selected as one out of ten finalists.  As part of the application process, Rachel had to design a campaign as part of a national seven-week challenge to raise funds for blood cancer treatments.  The initiative runs from Jan. 7 thru Feb. 25.

       To help with her cause, Churn Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee shop in Gibsonia held a “birthday bash” fundraiser on Jan. 15, which was Rachel’s actual 16th birthday.  The shop created special birthday-themed ice creams, lattes and milkshakes to commemorate the event.  A portion of the proceeds went towards LLS.

       Rachel and her family feel very strongly about raising funds to combat these blood and bone-marrow cancers.

       “As with everyone, I have lost family members and friends to cancer.  This was another way to participate and try to find a cure.   As a family, we have volunteered in many ways.  I participated in the Pineapple Race at Hartwood Acres for several years, which raises fund for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  It was a fun way to raise money for a worthy cause,” said Rachel.

        In addition to the Churn’s fundraiser, Rachel has turned to other resources in her appeal.  She raised funds at her church St. Mary’s in Glenshaw, canvassed local businesses, reached out to doctor’s office for sponsorships, and solicited funds via email and social media.  Rachel is also selling “Twirly Girl Pretzels” to help with her cause.

         The fundraising drive is helping her in her career path as well.  “I am interested in medicine as a career.  In addition to scholarship money to pay for medical school, there are opportunities for me to shadow doctors to see what area of medicine suits me the best,” Rachel added.

         Rachel is a member of the Hampton Rotary Club and is a former Girl Scout who earned a bronze award. She is a CCD teacher at St. Mary’s, and annually volunteers at their summer bible camp.

          At Hampton High Schoo,l Rachel receives high honors. She participates in tennis where she is JV team captain and MVP.  She is a member of the student council advisory committee, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), the Rotary and Spanish Clubs.

          Rachel resides in Hampton Township with her parents Jeff and Peggy and her siblings, Andrew 18 and Nicole, 19.  For information on her fundraising efforts, email  To donate and support Rachel’s campaign, visit