The Farber family (Hannah, Paul, Renée and Laura) at the Nittany Lion Shrine

Getting to Know You

Get to know Hannah Farber, one of Pittston Area’s valedictorians who is a first-year student at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. “Starting at Wilkes-Barre and getting to know my professors and so many of the other students will be a better environment for me. I also like that I can be at home for my first two years,” Farber said.

Hannah Farber has big goals—and she isn’t letting coronavirus get in her way. Whether it’s graduating at the top of her high school class (✓) or getting a job at Disney, she works hard to achieve her dreams. And Penn State Wilkes-Barre is the next stop on her list.

Farber graduated from Pittston Area High School this summer as one of the school’s valedictorians. “I worked really hard throughout high school to fulfill that goal of mine,” she said.

Her parents, Renee and Paul Farber of Pittston, both attended Penn State Wilkes-Barre before transitioning to University Park, the same path their daughter wants to follow now. With Penn State alums for parents, Farber grew up visiting both campuses. When she began to think about college seriously, she toured Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Hannah Farber in her white graduation robes

Hannah Farber in her graduation robes

Credit: Hannah Farber

“The campus is beautiful and I love it. Walking around, it felt like home. And I liked how everyone I met was so welcoming,” she said.

Farber wants to study engineering, with her biggest career aspiration to work for the Walt Disney Company as an “Imagineer”—what the company calls its engineers who design and create its theme parks. Imagineers design the company’s rides, resorts, parks, attractions and cruise ships throughout the world.

And Hannah thinks Penn State Wilkes-Barre can help her reach that goal.

“I like the small class sizes and being able to get to know your professors more,” Farber said. “A lot of my friends going to Penn State are nervous about it being so big. Starting at Wilkes-Barre and getting to know my professors and so many of the other students will be a better environment for me. I also like that I can be at home for my first two years.”

“We are thrilled to have Hannah join the Penn State Wilkes-Barre family,” said Leslie Livingstone, admissions counselor at the campus. “Hannah is motivated, determined and enthusiastic when it comes to obtaining her goals. Her positive outlook and stellar academic background will continue to help her succeed inside and outside of the classroom at Penn State.”

In high school, Farber was involved in several clubs and activities. She served as secretary (junior year) and chapter president (senior year) for the Future Business Leaders of America, where she participated in state and national competitions. Farber was also a member of the National Honor Society and part of the school’s drama club, where she was cast in the role of Jasmine in this year’s production of Aladdin (which was later canceled due to the pandemic). Outside of school, she plays tennis, takes dance and singing lessons and serves as an instructor at her dance studio, Julie Ardito School of Dance in Old Forge. She plans to get involved in activities in college and is considering several clubs and organizations at Penn State Wilkes‑Barre.

Despite the changes the pandemic has brought to her life, Farber has tried to stay positive.

“I was so excited for everything to happen my senior year, but everything got taken away or changed. At first, I was getting upset about things canceling, but now I’m taking the mindset of enjoying what you can. Don’t overthink things; live in the moment and enjoy what we have now,” she advised her fellow incoming students.