2018 Student Leadership Team

The SJ5K is lead by an exceptional group of P-CEP students!  Meet the 2018 Student Team.




Katherine Parker:  FAmily Outreach coordinator

I’m this year’s student Family Outreach coordinator! I’m currently a senior at Salem High School. In addition to SJ5k, I work at Joe's Deli. I was also on the Salem Cross Country team for three years until I realized running is awful. I've also been an assistant coach of Special Olympics Track and Field each spring, and it's a blast. I much prefer cheering than running :) I have recently started tutoring Kindergarten and First Grade students at Isbister a few times a week,  just because I love kids. Next year I plan on attending Manchester University, where I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition scholarship through their Honor's Program. I plan on double majoring in Peace Studies and Education, so one day I can work at a nonprofit that works to promote literacy among at-risk students. I am so glad that I am a part of the SJ5k and have been able to become so close with this year's families, they will always be in my thoughts and prayers. 


emma gilbert: Sponsorship coordinator

My name is Emma Gilbert, and I am Co- Leader of the 2018 SJ5k Sponsorship Team! I have a strong passion for serving people in effort to change their lives in a way they never dreamed possible. Next year, I plan on attending Michigan State University's James Madison College. I was blessed enough to be one of 300 students admitted as a direct admit student, meaning I will not have to apply to my school of discipline before my Junior year. I will be majoring in Comparative Cultures and Politics with the intent to work for a nonprofit organization that works to improve and develop schools in Africa. However, through the twists and turns of life in the next four years, I am excited to see where my passion for helping others on an international level takes me. My original interest for changing lives and improving my community sprouted from the service based clubs I am a member of: NHS, Link Crew, Do Something Club, and Key Club which eventually led me to retire from 14 years of competitive dance and take on my role wit  the SJ5k Leadership Team. This is only the beginning of my drive to change lives. The possibilities are endless!"

ARMAAN PATEL:  sponsorship coordinator

My name is Armaan Patel, and I am the Co-Leader of the 2017-2018 SJ5K Sponsorship Team! I am currently a senior at Plymouth high school. I'm part of a few clubs at PCEP, including BPA, HOSA, and NHS. I love to play soccer, and I am presently a member of the Michigan Wolves. I also love to play guitar and spend time with my friends/family. This fall, I will be attending the University of Michigan to study neuroscience and genetic technology. With my SJ5K experience, I aspire to create a global impact, and my journey starts right here in the Plymouth-Canton community.


Arianna Mattioli: Promotions Coordinator

Throughout high school I have been able to be apart of many different clubs and sports that have helped me grow as a person. I was on Canton jv pom for one year and Varsity for 3 years being a captain my senior year. I am also involved in the club stand against cancer where I am the head of communications. Another club I am involved in is link crew at canton, this is my second year and I am apart of the head board! Being apart of my school is something I am very proud of and I can’t wait to make this years SJ5K amazing! Next year I plan on attending either the University of Michigan, or Michigan State University, and as of right now my major is undecided. I’m so excited for this opportunity to help our families and to end my high school career in the best way possible!

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Kejsi Dervishi: promotions team member

I am a senior and attend Salem High School. I am double majoring in psychology and finance/investment at Michigan State University. I love helping others, working out and reading. During highschool I have been apart of National Honor Society, LinkCrew, KeyClub, PCEP Pals and Unified Sports and now, SJ5K board! I am part of the promotions team on SJ5K board. I am super excited to be such a big part of SJ5K!!


vivian liu:  family outreach team member

Hi! My name is Vivian Liu, and I’m part of the SJ5K Family Outreach Team this year. I’m honored to be a part of this great organization in assisting families through a difficult time in their lives. Apart from SJ5K, I’m also part of NHS, Link Crew, Key Club, and the PCEP Figure Skating Team. I like to spend my free time hanging out with family and friends, traveling, reading, and watching movies. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve my community and making it a better place.


Chris merkel:  sponsorship team member

Hi! My name is Christopher Merkel and I am a senior at Salem High School. I am very fortunate to be a part of this year's sponsorship team where we will be reaching out to local businesses for financial support of this year's families. Outside of the SJ5K I am a part of our biomedical STEM program, Health Occupations Students of America, and NHS. Next year I will be going to The Ohio State University under a microbiology major while focusing on my pre-medical track. With this major I hope to enter into medical school where I would love to pursue my passion of oncology. In this role I will be in a position to help more families like those nominated for the SJ5K.