The Baker College System announces its participation in the Gift of Life Campus Challenge, a campaign running from January 25th through February 29th. The primary objective of this challenge is to encourage as many individuals as possible to register as Michigan organ and tissue donors.
The Campus Challenge brings dynamic and purposeful energy into campus life, channeling fun rivalries and competitive spirit towards the noble cause of saving and healing lives. This program, characterized by its simplicity, ease, and free participation, has been a transformative force for the past 19 years, inspiring more than 40,000 people to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
During the five-week challenge, colleges and universities engage in friendly competition to register the most donors, with students, faculty, and staff actively participating through various channels such as social media, newsletters, and creative activities. Each participating school receives valuable digital resources and a unique link to the donor registry, earning points for every registration through their link. The real-time scores displayed on Gift of Life Michigan’s website create an exciting atmosphere, culminating in the awarding of trophies to the top three schools for various achievements, including the most new donors recruited, the highest percentage of new donors relative to the student population, and the school earning the most activity points.
Jennifer Kempa, Program Director for Surgical Technology at the Muskegon Campus, took the lead in encouraging her students to participate in this meaningful cause. Drawing upon her role as a surgical technologist, Kempa, along with her peers, witnesses firsthand the transformative impact of organ donation and transplantation within the operating room. “When you see a transplanted organ begin to function in a patient that has just been surviving, it really brings into focus how precious this gift really is. That patient just went from surviving to being able to live again. The challenge unites communities, fostering understanding and support for the incredible cause of saving lives through organ donation,” Kempa said.
The need for organ transplants remains critical, with more than 100,000 people in the U.S. and approximately 2,400 in Michigan waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Baker College is committed to making a difference by encouraging individuals to add their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Remarkably, one organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and positively impact up to 75 more.
Ryan Kanneth, a student in Automotive Services and Technology program(2024) at The Auto/Diesel Institute of Michigan with the Baker College Owosso campus, shares a personal perspective on the significance of organ donation. “Having received a heart transplant at 3 weeks old, I have been able to live an almost fully healthy life, enabling me to pursue an education at ADI. Without this opportunity, my aspirations in the automotive field might not have been possible,” Kanneth said. “Considering organ donation is extremely important because it is a powerful way to make a lasting impact on someone’s life, both while you’re living and after your time. It offers the chance to help countless individuals with conditions that may lack alternative treatments.”
Support the Gift of Life Campus Challenge and contribute to this life-changing cause by adding your name to the organ donor registry at golm.org/go/baker.
Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery program providing all services necessary for organ donation to occur. It works as the intermediary between families, hospitals and transplant centers to fulfill donation decisions for patients and their families. It was founded in 1971, by five surgeons who represented the medical schools at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Henry Ford Hospital. It was initially known as the Transplantation Society of Michigan, and it began as a kidney donation program.
Baker College is an independent, private, non-profit institution that grants associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees on campuses across Michigan and online. Founded in 1911, the institution’s mission is to provide an inclusive, innovative, and transformative educational experience, driven by a student-first philosophy. Learn more at baker.edu and follow on X, Meta, and Instagram.