Jackson County (WLOX) -- Jasmine Jackson says she and her friends usually talk during assemblies, but this time was different, because they were listening to a message that affects thousands of Mississippi families. The threat of cancer even hits home for one-third of students at East Central High School.
"It was just appalling. It brought tears to my eyes; I teared up. I couldn't help it. It could touch anybody; it could touch any of my friends," Jackson said.
"I was that daughter, who had to hear that her daddy had cancer," Relay for Life Chairwoman Cherie Langley said.
Langley bravely shared her story with the high school students. It's a story of hope because the school's 800 teens are showing their support in record-breaking amounts.
"There is only one school that has gotten to the level of 14,000, and they're at least three times as big as you guys. So give yourselves a hand!" Langley said.
Students have already raised $8,000 to find a cure for cancer, but they're not stopping until they reach their $10,000 goal.
"If everyone can donate $4, we can do it," East Central senior Zach Parker said.
East Central students are also raising awareness, along with money.
"Cancer affects everyone; it affects all of us at some point in time. We can all fight the fight, and together if we fight the fight, we can win," motivational speaker Mark Scott said.
If that means forking over lunch money or part of a paycheck, these students challenge teens across South Mississippi to give hope to those that need it most.
"I think that if East Central can do it, I think any high school can do it. With us being the smallest high school in the area, I think everyone can do just as much," Jackson said.
The students have just one week to raise the money before the big event next Friday night.
If you'd like to help the East Central High School students reach their goal, just call 228-990-3445 or visit their website by clicking here.