Student Spotlight: Hunter Jones

Rachael Eyler and Manfid Duran

Brooke Williams, Asst. News Editor

Name: Hunter Jones Year: Freshman Major: Information Security and Computer Science Hometown: Tunkhannock, PA

Hunter Jones is a freshman information security and computer science major who founded her own non-profit fund “Hope for Hunter” to provide special “Chemo Cozy” jackets to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Q: Why did you choose your major?
A: I chose my major because in the fall of 2015, I was diagnosed with brain and colon cancer. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor and I was applying to colleges as pre-med, but after I was diagnosed it made me realize that I don’t want to have anything to do with the medical field. I obviously had to change my major, and I’ve always been good at math. So I figured something away from science, so math [or] computer science kind of seemed perfect. And I love it, currently.

Q: What kind of career path do you plan on going into with this major?
A: There are a lot of government jobs with security and things like that, so that would be really cool.

Q: Why did choose to come to Marywood?
A: I chose Marywood for my school because when I was diagnosed, I wasn’t able to go away anymore. Originally, I wanted to go to school down south, but with my treatments being around here, it wasn’t really plausible. Marywood was my favorite of the local colleges.

Q: How are you liking it here so far?
A: So far I’m really liking it. I’m in the process of joining a sorority on campus, so I’m really starting to find my friend group and I’m really enjoying it.

Q: Can you tell us about the activities you’re involved in on campus, like the sorority?
A: I’m involved in Zeta Phi Delta on campus. Technically, I’m not officially a part of it. We’re still in the initiation process, so another four weeks, if I make it, of course. And then obviously the Math and Computer Science Club I’m involved in.

Q: I understand that you started an organization called Hope for Hunter. Can you tell us about that?
A: I created my own non-profit fund called the Hope for Hunter Fund through the Scranton Area Foundation. I provide Chemo Cozy jackets to pediatric and young adult oncology patients receiving infusions at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Geisinger Medical Center.

Q: Can you talk about why you started the organization?
A: I was going to receive my first chemotherapy infusion. Ellen Hamilton, who is the owner of Chemo Cozy—it’s a local company out of Selinsgrove—she had seen my story on the news and sent me a jacket. She got my address through the high school. So I used mine for my infusions and I loved it so much. I contacted her because I knew I wanted to give back as a way to say thank you… I get them at a reduced rate and I provide them for the patients.”

Q: What is your favorite part of founding Hope for Hunter?
A: My favorite part is definitely giving back and seeing the joy that I bring to others and seeing just the smile on a child’s face when I give them a jacket.

Q: As of right now, is your cancer in remission?
A: I’m currently in remission since the fall of 2016.

Q: What do you see for the future of Hope for Hunter?
A: For the future of Hope for Hunter, I definitely see us expanding. I definitely want to branch out to more hospitals and age groups. We just recently opened it up to the 18-25-year-olds. I didn’t want to overcommit myself or the fund until we’re financially stable enough to be able to do it. So I really hope for that in the future, [we] definitely give out a lot more jackets.”

Q: How does the group raise money to give out these jackets?
A: Our biggest event is our annual fundraiser, which just happened this past November. It was just kind of a buffet, there were bands, it’s just a fundraising event.

Q: Are there any upcoming events for Hope for Hunter?
A: Unfortunately, there aren’t any upcoming events for Hope for Hunter. We take a break for the wintertime, so we’ll be starting back up our monthly meetings in the spring and planning everything.

Q: How would people in the Marywood or Scranton community who want to get involved in Hope for Hunter be able to do that?
A: If anyone’s interested in becoming involved with Hope for Hunter, definitely just contact me. I would be more than willing to have them hop on board with all of us. It’s a great time.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @BWilliamsTWW