A.T.A.C. the Track a Huge Hit


Annika Villanueva '24

Students walk the track to raise awareness about health issues that men suffer from.

The Assertive Teens Against Cancer (A.T.A.C.) Club at Edison High School is an extracurricular club that spreads awareness about various types of cancer and focuses on raising funds to donate to cancer-related organizations that specialize in cancer research such as the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, located in New Brunswick, which is a cutting- edge institution that provides free treatment to all patients, with or without insurance. 

A.T.A.C was created recently and is led by Mrs. Tracey Patton-Stein, who is very passionate about their mission. The club hosted its annual event, in person, after a year of virtual learning. The COVID-19 Pandemic initially prevented the club from hosting events in a traditional manner, but the return to in-person learning allowed it to host the A.T.A.C. the Track event (usually occurring sometime before the Thanksgiving or Christmas break). 

Many of the students and the board members enjoyed walking around the track, eating snacks, and listening to music with their friends all while supporting a worthwhile cause.

The club initiated a movement at Edison High known as a Move for Movember. The primary goal of the event was to support the Movember movement, an annual event during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. Over the past years, more than 200 students have participated. The event involves walking 60 miles around the Edison High School track to represent the 60 men lost each hour. During the 2020 – 2021 academic year, the club exceeded their Movember goal with 430 miles walked and $290 raised. 

This year, however, a lot more students were interested in participating in the event. So much so that the board was forced to set a limit on the number of people that could participate. This increased involvement was most likely because most students did not have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities when schools functioned virtually. 

“Most students just came out of online school and wanted to experience in-person activities. Not only was the Freshman year (Class of 2025) larger this year compared to previous years, but the Sophomore year (Class of 2024) also missed out on opportunities because their first year of high school was online so it was something new and fun for them,” said Mourya Khandai ’23, A.T.A.C. board member. 

The success was not only in the numbers. Many of the students and the board members enjoyed walking around the track, eating snacks, and listening to music with their friends all while supporting a worthwhile cause.

“The A.T.A.C. The Track was a very fun-filled experience. It allowed the students to support an important cause. Personally, it was fascinating to see such great participation and involvement from every grade level,” said Maha Mustensir ’23. 

After a year of isolation and emotional stress, it was an event that most certainly brought students together and helped build stronger connections.

“I’d say it was really good, especially after COVID I think a lot of people enjoyed it. We wanted to do it last year but things, unfortunately, didn’t work out, but I’m glad we did it this year because everyone really seemed to enjoy it, especially after being online too; it was nice to see people walking for a good cause all while enjoying,” said Khandai. 

Overall, the event was super successful and the A.T.A.C. club has more exciting events planned in the future in order to fundraise and inform the students about cancer. The board plans to host other events such as scavenger hunts and possibly another A.T.A.C The Track event in the Spring of 2022.