by LINDA FRABL | photo by Soul of Photography

Award Winning Leader


Bennet Berlin, a senior at the Grauer School in Encinitas, recently earned the Citizenship Award for Leadership and scholarship money from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for raising more than $16,000 for the organization. Bennet’s fundraising efforts were prompted by her involvement with the Student of the Year Campaign, a seven-week long competition to raise money for LLS.

Describing the LLS fundraising experience, Bennet said, “My team was made up of seven of my classmates who were also interested in community service. Our main strategy was to create connections between LLS and Grauer, and to use those connections to inform more people about the organization and its mission. It was motivating to know that the work I did and the money I raised was all going toward such an important cause.”


Name: Bennet Rose Berlin
Community: Encinitas
School: The Grauer School
Grade: 12
Parents: Scott and Tracey Berlin
Sibling: Josephine Berlin (14)
Hobbies & Interests: Film, food, makeup, hiking
Favorite Spots in Encinitas: Woodsy Coffee, my street, the dog park, Pipes Beach


It was because of a school presentation from the LLS campaign manager that Bennet became interested in lending a hand. Even though she had always participated in community service opportunities, such as tutoring first graders at Capri Elementary through her school’s Study Buddies program, Bennet realized, “Once I reached my junior year I had more time in my schedule, so I wanted to get involved with something bigger. I was inspired when the campaign manager described LLS’s goals of raising awareness, curing blood cancer, and ensuring access to treatments for patients.”

At Grauer, Bennet’s favorite subject is physics because “the class is challenging but entertaining, and I find myself learning something new about how the world works every time.” Though she’s not sure yet which college she’ll attend, Bennet plans to study neuroscience and linguistics, and she hopes to earn a PhD in those areas. Bennet added, “I’ve also always loved film but I’ve never been able to take an actual class on it, so I plan to take film classes in college and pursue that more seriously.”

In her downtime, Bennet enjoys hiking and visiting local eateries. As much as she loves her beachy hometown, Bennet revealed, “I’m excited to live in a different part of the country when I go to college!” This go-getter is sure to make a positive difference no matter where she goes.