Christina Tentilucci has always felt like she wanted to save the world.
Growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Christina always knew that Penn State was where she was meant to be. Coming from a long line of “Penn Staters,” Christina was excited to follow in the footsteps of her family and happy to continue the PSU tradition.
Christina, who just graduated with a degree in early childhood elementary education with minors in special education as well as family studies, has always had a passion for teaching. Ever since her fourth grade teacher instilled in her a confidence that she says she’ll carry for the rest of her personal and professional life, it’s been her dream to inspire a student the same way her teacher inspired her.
Christina’s passion for children didn’t stop there. During her time at Penn State, she was heavily involved with THON and even became a THON Special Events Hair Donation Captain.
Along with THON, she also had a similar mission at Camp Kesem, a camp that supports children whose parents suffer from cancer.
“I had the very life-changing and humbling opportunity to help children through and beyond a parent’s cancer,” says Christina.
Even though Christina has a remarkable passion for helping others, she found it hard to reciprocate that kindness to herself.
It’s easy to give and give and give, and sometimes, it’s difficult to remember to return that love to yourself.
Christina says that the time she’s spent at Penn State has had an influential part in shaping her to who she is today.
“I am grateful for each failure and success I have experienced at Penn State, because it has helped me recognize a strength and confidence that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my personal and professional life.”
Christina’s learned that, “It’s not the action, it’s the reaction.” She began to understand that she can’t control certain things, but she can control how she can react to others. Living within a society that she views often judges people for their confidence, she realized she needed to let those opinions ago.
Although I am far from perfect, I now feel that I am confident, strong and brave without worry of being ‘approved’ by others,” says Christina. “I’ve learned a great deal about how to stand up for myself and recognize my worth.
Christina says she owes her self-realizations and epiphanies to the people who have inspired her and the experiences that have shaped her during her time at Penn State.
Throughout her time at Penn State, she’s come to realize that her favorite quote rings true. “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world’ in you … I want you to know it’s okay if you only save one person, and it’s okay if that person is you. I’ve had moments of rejection and have had moments of success,” says Christina.
“At the end of the day, I have learned that my happiness comes from within.”