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Nikki Nuske makes the diamon symbol with her fingers to show her support for THON.

Nikki Nuske

Hometown: Baden, PA
Major: Elementary and Special Education
Class of 2016

Are you a resident or commuter?

I am a commuter.

What are you involved in?

I am involved in THON and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

What do you like most about Penn State Beaver?

I really like how the size is just right. The faculty and staff genuinely care for the students, and as a student, you really get to know everyone. I like that feeling. I like knowing I am not just a "number."

What’s your favorite class?

I really like CI 295A: Pre-K to 4th Grade. It gives the students the opportunity to work directly with children in an elementary school and preschool where we can practice what we learn as future educators. It is a very practical and informative course. 

My Penn State Story

I first heard about THON as a freshman at Penn State Beaver during the involvement fair on campus. As an Early Childhood and Special Education major, I knew I wanted to join a club that was going to help me be a better me. As soon as I stepped foot into the first THON, I knew I had become a part of something that I could never stop being a part of.

Getting involved on campus was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only have I been able to make a difference, I have met some incredible people along the way from our campus, other Penn State campuses, and the children and families of The Four Diamonds Fund. THON is an amazing, extraordinary thing. It helps families keep hope in knowing that there are thousands working year round to help ease the pain of having a child who has cancer. It helps the children know that there is a weekend and a place that they can just "be a kid," and it helps college students like me realize that life is a beautiful and fragile thing. It teaches us how to give back, and rewards us by doing so. I will always be involved in THON, because it has helped make me into who I am today. 

My freshman year I was blessed in being chosen to dance along with 707 other dancers from across all Penn State campuses. Being on the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center for those 46 hours was more than I could have ever hoped for. When I was able to play with children who were sick, yet who still laughed and played and squirted me with a water gun... it put life into perspective for me. Granted, standing for 46 hours without sitting or sleeping is HARD, but when you think of how much pain a child has to endure during chemo-therapy, radiation, spinal taps, blood transfusions,  or even getting a shot... the pain goes away.

We will keep dancing until there has been found a cure for cancer. Until then, we will dance for the cure. 

For more information on THON, go to http://thon.org/.