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Leaders for Life Program – Recognition Cords

Honoring high school students at graduation for their help saving lives in their communities.

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Recognize the work students do to help save lives

The Leaders for Life Program is designed to create awareness of the need for a strong and consistent blood supply while providing high school students with an opportunity to support your community. By supporting local blood drives, students are not only giving back to your community, they are eligible to receive recognition cords at graduation.

Benefits for students

  • Provides the students opportunities to build leadership skills.
  • Educates students on the importance of blood and how blood is used to heal and save lives.
  • Offers students an opportunity for community service through volunteer hours.

How can students earn recognition cords?

Students can support your school’s blood drives by participating in various activities within the school to promote the drives:

  • School announcements, posters on shared bulletin boards, handing out flyers during lunch break, social media, reminder notices on lockers and more (see Examples below)

Students can recruit outside donors to their school drives:

  • Telling parents, grandparents and neighbors; handing out flyers; social media

Students can volunteer their time at a local Versiti center or Versiti mobile drive

Does a student’s blood donation count towards graduation cords? Does a student have to donate blood?

  • Graduation cords are earned via outward influence and are not connected to a student’s personal blood donation. Not all students are able to donate blood, so to be equitable, graduation cords are based on students’ influence on others within their community.

A student's personal donation will count as 1 hour of volunteer time.

Can a student receive graduation cords even if their high school is not participating within the Leaders for Life program?

  • Yes. Any student can earn graduation cords by completing the requirements and submitting the online application form, below.

Leaders for Life Cords Program Application Form

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Please list the post-secondary school you are planning on attending. This can includes universities, trade schools, junior colleges, or technical schools. If you are not planning on attending post-secondary education you can leave this field blank.


Examples for students to earn graduation cords

  • 10 volunteer hours

    Promote school drive

    • Social media posts
    • Write/deliver school announcements
    • Announcement in school newsletter/school news paper
    • Let others in the community know about blood drive and encourage them to donate
    • Put up posters in school and on community bullion boards
    • Distribute flyers
    • Put reminder notices up on school lockers

    Volunteer at another Versiti community mobile blood drive

    • Work with local Versiti Blood Center representative

    Volunteer at a local Versiti donor center

    • Work with Versiti volunteer services
  • 5 referrals for donation
    • Parents, grandparents, extend family members
    • Neighbors
    • Work associates
    • Teachers, academic support staff, guidance counselors
    • Community leaders



Phone: 877-232-4376 Email: donate.wi@versiti.org

Setup a Drive at Your School

Scheduling a drive is easy. Just complete the submission form and we will be in touch.
Web: Host a Blood Drive

Official Rules


View official rules for students living in Illinois.
Web: Official Rules


View official rules for students living in Indiana.
Web: Official Rules


View official rules for students living in Michigan.
Web: Official Rules


View official rules for students living in Ohio.
Web: Official Rules


View official rules for students living in Wisconsin.
Web: Official Rules

Blood Donation Questions?

Read common frequently asked questions around blood donation and eligibility.
Web: Browse our FAQ's

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Elodie Ontala

Born with sickle cell disease, Elodie has stayed strong and active thanks to the generosity of blood donors.

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Misty Welch

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