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Ritu Peddinti, Michelle Masiello and Mira Amin have been raising awareness for CTF.

(l-r) Michelle Masiello of Hillsborough, Mira Amin of Bridgewater and Ritu Peddinti of Bridgewater deliver baskets
as part of their community service project at NJMS.


Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students Ritu Peddinti of Bridgewater, Michelle Masiello of Hillsborough and Mira Amin of Bridgewater have been raising awareness of neurofibromatosis and fundraising for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

The students’ project centers on the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF), which supports research for neurofibromatosis and the families who are affected. Neurofibromatosis is a type of cancer that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. Over the past year, the students have raised over $1,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation through multiple outreach efforts, including fundraising dinners.

“We have already hosted fundraising dinners at Chipotle and Panera, and we have a few more planned for 2019,” said Ritu Peddinti. Additionally, Ritu explained how the team took part in a neurofibromatosis walk in Long Island and supported NF Heroes, who are people that live with neurofibromatosis and are supported by the Children's Tumor Foundation. Peddinti added, “Our latest branch of our project is Classrooms that Care. We are reaching out to schools to try to create more of an education about NF in elementary, intermediate, and high schools so that it can be better understood and research can be more widely supported. We have also started visiting hospitals in the tristate area to deliver gift baskets to NF patients in order to brighten their days and show support from CTF advocates to CTF families.”

In April, the students’ project will culminate with the team competing at the New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships in the community service category, where they will be showcasing the work they’ve done over the course of the year.

For more information on this story, please contact James Strickhart at (908) 526-8900, x7169 or