It was because of THON that Josie Farinelli decided to come to Penn State. A friend of hers had started school here and was having a hard time adjusting, Farinelli said. Her friend was unhappy and would always come home on weekends or send daily texts about being miserable, she said.
After her friend joined the Interfraternity Council/ Panehllenic Dance Marathon, the trips home were less frequent and so were the unhappy texts, Farinelli, who is a member of this year’s Homecoming Court, said.
“If something could be so important to her, it could be important to me,” she said.
Farinelli, a Schreyer scholar, (senior-geography) is part of Penn State Singing Lions and was family relations chair, treasurer, THON chair and secretary for the group’s THON committee. She was also a morale captain for THON 2012 and is hoping to be a dancer in THON 2013.
One of Farinelli’s favorite Penn State memories was when their THON child, Lexi Barnett was able to meet Taylor Swift just two weeks before the child died.
Farinelli said that the summer before her junior year, the group started the Love for Lexi: Meet Taylor Swift Facebook campaign in hopes of reaching Taylor Swift.
“The amount of support and responses from Penn State students was incredible,” she said.
Finally, a girl reached out to the group and said that she had two backstage passes to see Taylor Swift and would give them to Lexi and her grandmother.
“Lexi was so excited. She told Taylor Swift that she loved her songs, especially the ones about horses,” she said.
When asked what her favorite childhood memory is she laughed and said, “Childhood? I still feel like a child.”
“I still call my mom and ask her things like what kind of toothpaste do we buy?” she asked.
But what student doesn’t still call home to ask questions?
Josie’s friend Melanie Sessa (senior-marketing and public relations) said the two met through THON and have become very close.
“She is always there when you need her,” Sessa said.
Sessa also said that Josie is very passionate about everything she does and has contributed a lot to every group she has been involved with.
As for the future, Farinelli is prepping for her LSATs and hopes to go on to law school. She said that it is because of Penn State that she “has a clear idea” of where she wants to be.
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