JOPLIN, Mo. — There’s a new winner for the Golden Lion Award in Carl Junction.

“I’m a leukemia survivor. And at 13 months old, I underwent a bone marrow transplant with my older sister Sylvia,” said Ellie Lawson, CJHS senior.

That success led the Carl Junction High School senior to host a bone marrow registry drive.

“So our goal going into it was actually 25 people to get signed up and we exceeded it and doubled it and we got around 50 people to,” she said.

Ellie Lawson is pretty busy even when she’s not trying to find bone marrow donor. She’s an officer with the Student Council, connecting her with one of her favorite volunteering opportunities – the Special Olympics.

“Just seeing the kids participate in what everyone else does in track and I just love seeing their faces like when they win their race or they just have so much pride in themselves and I love it.”

Ellie has worked Christmas toy drives, canned food drives and blood drives.

“Being a blood buddy helping calm people’s nerves while they’re giving blood,” Ellie added.

Her Service Learning class means Ellie also spends a lot of time working with younger students.

“We do lots of different projects like Team Bulldog, where that’s we go over and mentor and kind of just be a buddy to kids in the intermediate building. So like, I’m with sixth graders. And we also do community service.”

Like a new mural for the library in the CJ 2-3 building. Just one more reason CJ teacher Kristy Alford says Ellie deserves the Golden Lion Award.

“After graduation, Ellie with trade her Bulldog mascot for a Lion,” said Alford.

“I plan to attend Missouri Southern and I’m looking at going into occupational therapy. And so I’m really excited about that,” said Ellie.