THON Merchandise Director: Jess Frezza

THON weekend might seem far away, but for THON 2018 Merchandise Director and future girl boss, Jess Frezza, she's counting down the days until her favorite weekend. The past few months have been exciting for Frezza, who is looking forward to spreading the magic of THON (and her love of the THON line dance) through the THON Store and the Merchandise Committee.

 

Year: Senior

Major: Public Relations

Hometown: Belle Mead, NJ

 

HC: Why did you decide to get involved with THON?

JF: I was really lucky before coming to Penn State because I had friends who went here and filled me in on THON and told me I had to get involved. While I didn’t really know what it was to its full extent, I knew I wanted to be a part of the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. With Penn State being as large as it is, I wanted an outlet to be able to get involved, make friends, and most importantly, make an impact. THON captured my heart from the first time I saw a video online and I knew that whatever I did at Penn State, THON had to be a part of my experience.

 

HC: Tell us a little bit about your position and how you worked towards this position through your THON experience.

JF: As the Merchandise Director I am in charge of overseeing the THON Store in the HUB as well as various different aspects of everything related to Merchandise. I have the incredible opportunity to work with 19 Captains who do anything from developing products, marketing the THON Store, running data analyses, executive special event sales, to monitoring all THON Merchandise related licensing, and more. I also have the privilege to be able to work with the ever-talented Penn State Graphic Design students in creating the logo and picking out the colors of the gear.

I’ve been really fortunate to have seen THON through different lenses, which has helped me bring a holistic look into the positions I’ve been in. My freshman year I was a Communications Committee Member, my sophomore year I was a Supply Logistics Captain, and last year I was a Merchandise Captain and I was really fortunate to be able to be inspired endlessly by my committee I led. I’ve always been eager to do more for this organization and I would definitely not be in this position without the endless support from my Captains, Directors, Co-Captains and other THON volunteers who supported and believed in me along the way.

 

HC: What are you most looking forward to during THON weekend?

JF: Since this THON weekend will be my last THON (which is terrifying how fast time flew), I think I’m most looking forward to really seeing how not only this THON weekend comes together, but how THON has grown since my first THON in 2015. So far, I’ve been able to see the other members of the Executive Committee put in so much to make this year happen and I’ve gotten to work with not just my Captains, but other incredible Captains give so much. I’ve seen committee members eager to get involved and organizations of all sizes work endlessly for this cause. Being by their side and watching our hard work unfold for the families we care so much about the most is something I’m most looking forward to.

 

HC: Time to get emotional...What advice would you give to incoming freshmen or students who want to get involved with THON?

JF: My biggest piece of advice for incoming freshmen or students, related to THON or not, is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Especially with THON being as big of an organization as it is, it can be easy to be intimidated, I know I was. It’s okay to be a bit confused and not fully understand what THON really is, most people don’t fully understand until THON Weekend in February. Personally, even though I had a good idea what THON was, I didn’t really get it until THON 2015. For me, putting myself out there for THON was one of the best decisions I made. I was intimidated at my first committee meeting but looking back, that’s how I met some of my best friends, people who pushed me to be the best I can be, and truly fell in love with this organization. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You never know what incredible memories and friendship you may make. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve done.

 

HC: What words of wisdom have you found most valuable throughout your college career?

JF: This is such a hard question. I’ve been really blessed to have some incredible people influence my life. Since we’re talking about THON, I would have to say, “Surpass the Limits.” Surpass the Limits was my Supply Logistics theme for THON 2016 set by my Director, Elysa Kolvek. It really resonated with me as shy, sophomore Captain and it was something I really took to heart. In everything I do, I try endless to surpass every limit in front of me, internal or external, to be the best person I can be and to always strive to be better.

 

Committee applications will become available on think.thon.org soon! If you have any questions regarding THON, don’t hesitate to stop by the THON Office in 227D HUB.