Amy Herzog took some curious steps as she prepared to interview with a big donor, one that could write a huge check for medical research on her son’s rare digestive disorder. She fretted over choosing the sweater and pants she wore, not wanting to look like “some old mom.” She made her husband, Brian, go with her. “I did not want to walk in there alone,” she says.
The Herzogs found the meeting room and sat down. Before them, with pens poised over questionnaires, was a committee of students at Highland Park High School.
The 1,888-student school in an affluent Chicago suburb is one of a number of schools across the country that have emerged as highly sought scientific benefactors. Last year, the students raised $180,000, and an anonymous donor matched that. Students gave the $360,000 in one lump to a research organization started by a local family whose son has Huntington’s disease and whose daughter will develop the fatal genetic disorder.