Meet the Junior Board

The Junior Board at Glimmer of Hope is a group of motivated pre-teens and teens ready to make their impact on the world. The Junior Board plans fundraisers, social media campaigns and different events for Glimmer of Hope. Follow along with their journey @glimmerofhopejrboard on Instagram.

Kendall Liesching

Junior Board President

Kendall Liesching is so thrilled and honored to be a part of this organization, which works to give joy and hope to people battling cancer. Kendall is a 16 year old sophomore at La Salle Academy. She is an extremely hardworking student, an avid reader and a competitive swimmer. At school she participates in various clubs such as Student Council, Best Buddies, Women in STEM, Girls Who Code, Environmental Action Committee, Youth in Action, Spanish Club, Art Club, Model UN and Model Legislature. When she grows up she aspires to research oncology and address the intersectionality between environmental racism and cancer. Her desire to study oncology was fostered by two influential women in her life: her grandma and her best friend. 

Kendall witnessed early on the horrific toll cancer takes on people as she saw her grandma fearlessly battle lung cancer. Furthermore, Kendall is best friends with Ella and they have been inseparable since they were only two years old. They grew up playing dolls together, participating in the same soccer league and being leaders on their Girl Scout troop. The many hours Kendall spent with Ella in the hospital inspired her to get involved with people who have cancer and work towards spreading happiness to them. Kendall misses Ella everyday and now that she is gone there is a large void in the world that is missing her kindness and her light, which touched everyone around her. In order to partially fill this emptiness, Kendall wants to get more involved with giving hope to people battling cancer and the Glimmer of Hope Foundation is the perfect way to do this.

Caitlynn Zinni

Junior Board Vice President

Caitlynn is an 18 year old senior at Johnston High School who plans to attend college in the Fall. There, she will major in Early Childhood Education and Development with a Business minor. She has been a member of the National Honor Society for the past 3 years and was recently named a candidate for the U.S Presidential Scholars Program. Last year, Caitlynn served as the 2020 Honored Hero for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year Campaign. As a childhood cancer survivor, volunteering with Glimmer of Hope isn’t just about continuing these passions. It is much deeper than that. She was diagnosed with Leukemia at just 5 years old, and underwent two years of treatment. Along the way, she endured 110 weeks of chemotherapy, 8 days of cranial radiation, 5 blood transfusions, 3 platelet transfusions and so much more. With an exposure to childhood cancer at such a young age, she knows the importance of spreading awareness and providing hope for those that find themselves in the same position she once did. Caitlynn aspires to give back to the community through helping others, especially if it has to do with working with children.

Ali Land

Junior Board Treasurer


Ali is a 16 year old sophomore from East Greenwich, RI. She has been dancing for over 10 years and her favorite style of dance is hiphop. She loves to spend time with her two Golden doodles and hang out with her friends while maintaining her studies in high school. Ali has been volunteering ever since she was 12 and worked with the elderly. She is extremely passionate about helping make children with cancer smile as they push through the toughest fight. Ali met Ella, the girl Glimmer of Hope is inspired by, when she was in preschool, and they grew up together as very close friends. After Ali saw what Ella had to go through, she felt compelled to be a part of something in honor of her. The Junior Board of Glimmer of Hope was the perfect opportunity! Ali is honored to be a part of this wonderful community that helps put smiles on these brave childhood cancer fighter’s faces!!

Ava Bradshaw

Junior Board Secretary

Ava is beyond honored and excited to join the junior board! Her grandmother Mimi, who will always be one of her favorite people passed away in 2012. Since then, Ava’s family and friends have honored the life and spirt of her. Her mom started an Ovarian cancer 5k awareness run alongside her mother to bravely support and encourage fighters. Ava’s mom has taught her daughters to always help those who need it! Growing up, Ava’s favorite thing was dolls. Her favorite doll, a gift from her Mimi, (whom she named Mimi), was her absolute favorite. When she got older she began her love for American Girl dolls, and her collection only grew from there! Ava only hopes that so many girls can find hope and joy from dolls as much as she did! Now Ava is currently a freshman at East Greenwich High School. She is a very active and loves to swim, play field hockey, and run. 

Mia Daley

Junior Board Outreach Coordinator

Mia Daley is so excited to be a part of the Glimmer of Hope Jr board! She is a 14 year old 8th grader at Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, RI. Mia part takes in many forms of dance including tap, ballet, and contemporary. Mia has been participating in professional musical theater for 9 years and has loved every second of it. Mia also plays Lacrosse.


Mia is a national Youth Ambassador for The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement as well the RI advocate, which has made her very passionate about youth advocacy. In her future she would love to be a Politician and bring up the topic’s of SEL and cancer advocacy. Mia’s greatest passion is spreading awareness and funds for organizations that she feels passionate about. 


Mia was inspired to join Glimmer of hope after hearing Ella’s story, the mark she left  on so many is so inspiring. Mia hopes to educate herself and others about childhood cancer and make a difference in her community!

Riley Gopalakrishnan

Junior Board Social Media Coordinator

Riley is 15 years old, and a sophomore at East Greenwich. She is very interested in science, mainly biology, and hopes to become a doctor one day. Although she is unaware of a specific speciality she would like to pursue, cardio thoracic surgery and pediatric surgery are among her most prominent interests. Riley is inspired by her parents, and their success in the medical field as well. Her dad is the CMO of Kent Hospital, and her mom is an oncology nurse practitioner. More about Riley is that she has been playing soccer since the age of 5, has four siblings, loves to read, and has recently gotten into cooking.

Riley is super excited to join the Junior Board at Glimmer of Hope!! Not only is she proud to be part of an organization that has such a positive effect on young children battling cancer, but she is also proud to honor her grandfather, who passed from cancer, in such a beautiful way.

Jillian Prior

Junior Board Member

Jillian Prior is a 15 year old sophomore at East Greenwich High School. She splits her time between her schoolwork, playing field hockey and lacrosse and spending time with friends and family. Her interests include learning new languages, baking and traveling. One day, Jillian hopes to travel around the world and experience new sights, culture and cuisine. She is not quite sure where she will land after high school graduation but is hoping to be in a new city with new adventures. Inspired by her love to help others and her interest in coming up with new ways to involve the community, Jillian is so excited to be on the Glimmer of Hope Junior Board and watch first hand the smiles we help create. 

Addison Fain

Junior Board Member

Addison is a student at Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island where she enjoys math and Latin class. When not in school Addison enjoys playing soccer and basketball. But, most of all she enjoys helping people. Addison’s love for sports has fostered her passion for helping others through participation in unified sports and volunteering for Special Olympics. She loves working with younger children and baby-sitting has provided her with many opportunities.  Addison is very excited to participate in The Glimmer Of Hope’s Junior Board and is looking forward to the many opportunities she will have to make a difference in families’ lives through supporting The Glimmer Of Hope Foundation’s mission to provide HOPE for families battling childhood cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

Caroline Elevado

Junior Board Member

Caroline Elevado is in 4th grade at Eldredge Elementary School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  She participates in travel lacrosse, premier soccer, local basketball leagues, skis black diamonds, loves art, fosters neglected and abused dogs, and volunteers at various animals shelters up and down the East Coast.  
Caroline was born with a very rare bile duct tumor that required multiple hospitalizations as an infant and underwent life saving surgery in Boston at 6 months of age.  Since her surgery almost ten years ago, she has volunteered at the local Ronald McDonald House and has helped other children in need by collecting art supplies and toys for the Child Life departments.

Inspired by those who were so kind and compassionate to her and her family when she was sick, she is eager to pass it forward and work with Ali Hornung and the Glimmer of Hope Foundation in making others who are so sick have a smile on their face.  

Lauren Elevado

Junior Board Member

Lauren Elevado, is a 7th grade student at Archie Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. While active in soccer and basketball, she has also taken a liking to volunteering with the local animal shelters and and fostering neglected dogs.  Lauren is so excited to be apart of the Glimmer of Hope Junior Board and helping kids.  She is inspired to help others from all those who helped her and her family when her little sister, Caroline Elevado, was sick. She looks forward to putting a smile on many kids faces.

Riley Plante

Junior Board Member

Riley Plante is 14 years old and an eighth grader at Cole Middle School. She enjoys community service activities and was recently named an officer of the National Junior Honor Society at her school. Other interests include sports, baking, and traveling.

Riley‘s mother is a hospice physician, and this has helped Riley gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the struggles individuals face while battling life-threatening conditions. She also learned that seemingly simple gestures of kindness during tough times can make a huge impact. 

Riley chose to join Glimmer of Hope after hearing about its meaningful mission and ability to make a positive difference in the community. Being a member of the Junior Board allows Riley to give back in a significant, creative way! 

Grace Teixeira

Junior Board Member

Grace is a 16 year old sophomore at Marquette High School in Missouri. Some of her favorite things to do are playing golf, helping others, and spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys being involved in her school and community. She is a member of the Girls’ golf team, Track and field, Key club, and the Red Cross club. 

She grew up in Rhode Island and moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 2013. She was sad to leave all of her family and friends, especially her best friend Ella. They met in kindergarten and were on the same soccer team. They knew they were destined to be friends when they would rather chit-chat and pick flowers instead of actually playing soccer. They would play with American Girl Dolls for hours on end and would always find time to get an Awful Awful from Newport Creamery. Ever since Grace moved away, FaceTimes with Ella and visits to see each other were a must. 

Being a part of Glimmer of Hope is the perfect way to honor her friend. Grace is inspired by the fact that Ella wrote to American Girl asking them to create a bald doll. She wants to help make sure other children battling cancer can receive their own doll too.

Katie Murphy

Junior Board Member

Katie Murphy is a 15 year old sophomore at La Salle Academy. She is a competitive dancer who spends a lot of time in her studio teaching, choreographing, and learning.  Katie is also a member of the dance club at her school.  She loves spending time with friends and family. Katie has been a Girl Scout for over 10 years and is still continuing her progress through finishing her gold award. Katie is honored to be apart of such an amazing organization that helps these brave, sweet, strong kids that are going through the most difficult times battling cancer.  She is dedicating her time at Glimmer of Hope for her dear friend Ella, whom this organization was inspired by.  Katie has known Ella ever since preschool and being part of the Glimmer of Hope Foundation is a great way to honor her.  Katie can’t wait to see all the smiles that this organization will deliver!

Grace Nardozzi

Junior Board Member

Grace is a 15 year old freshman at East Greenwich High School. She is beyond excited to be a part of the Glimmer of Hope Jr Board, and to help spread childhood cancer awareness through Ella’s memory. Grace and Ella’s mom’s actually taught in North Kingstown together for many years, and both got pregnant around the same time. Shortly after, Ella and Grace became inseparable and would stay close throughout the next couple of years. Ella will forever hold a place in Grace’s heart, and she hopes to continue to share Ella’s contagious light by becoming a part of the Glimmer of Hope Junior Board! Grace enjoys spending her time with her friends, family, and her 3 dogs. Grace is also a competitive swimmer and you can always find her in the pool! She swims for her high school team and a club team called Crimson Aquatics. Grace is also a member of the EGHS Student Council and plans to run track in the springtime. She is not completely sure where her life will bring her after high school, but she loves to bring smiles to others’ faces, like the Glimmer of Hope Foundation does for so many!