Family Relations Director
4th Year Student
Hometown: West Chester, PA
Majors: Political Science, Spanish
Previous THON Involvement
THON 2019: Dancer Relations Committee Member
THON 2020: Family Relations Captain (Family Programs Coordinator)
THON 2021: Family Relations Captain (Explorers Coordinator)
Why did you want to become a member of the THON 2022 Executive Committee?
I wanted to become a Director, first and foremost, to serve the families at the heart of our mission. Throughout my time on the Family Relations Committee, I have learned so much from our families and witnessed true strength, perseverance, and hope. It is such an honor to be able to get to know the families at every stage of their cancer journey, from active treatment to survivorship. I feel especially honored to continue fostering amazing relationships with bereaved families and ensure their angels are remembered and celebrated in the THON Community. As the Family Relations Director, I have the unique opportunity to not only provide emotional support, but also inspire other passionate volunteers by empowering families to share their stories and interact with volunteers. These interactions strengthen our community and provide volunteers with motivation and a personal connection to the fight. Ultimately, the THON Community is full of love, hope, and light, and I wanted to become Director to continue to spread that light as far as I can to both our families and volunteers.
What are your main responsibilities for THON 2022?
As the Family Relations Director for THON 2022, my primary responsibility is to provide emotional support to Four Diamonds families, and lead a committee of Captains as they seek to do the same. This support takes the form of robust programming for families including the Adopt-a-Family Program, the TEENetwork, New Family Orientations and pre-THON events such as the THON 5K and Family Carnival. It also includes programming that connects families and volunteers such as the Penn Pal Program, Captain-in-Training, the Perpetual Pennant Project to remember our angels, and more. Additionally, as the Family Relations Director I work to educate the THON Community on our families' journeys by empowering them to share their story though the Family Education Program, Family Focus Videos, and speaking opportunities at THON Events. Above all else, I strive to ensure the families remain at the core of everything THON does.
What is your favorite THON memory?
My favorite THON memory was walking onto the floor for the first-time during THON Weekend 2020 and seeing Joyce Ortiz's paired organizations, Alpha Tau Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha, holding up letters spelling out her name in the stands. Each letter was painted with something Joyce loved. Joyce had recently become one of our THON angels earlier that year, and in that moment, I knew she was there in the BJC with us all.
What are you most looking forward to for THON 2022?
I am looking forward to continuing to connect with families in the virtual space since we learned that it can be an effective way to form relationships and foster a sense of community. At the same time, I am looking forward to returning to some of our favorite in-person events and being with everyone again!
What are you involved in outside of THON?
Research for the Penn State Spanish Department, Volunteer for two non-profit organizations
What are your plans for after you graduate from Penn State?
I would love to work in a mission-based career, either in the non-profit or governmental sector. I would like to further my education at the graduate level a few years down the line.