When Andrea Roberts came to Central Michigan University, she found a community.
She found home.
She found herself.
"I was immediately welcomed to the CMU community," she said. "I loved the atmosphere of CMU so much. This was my new home."
It started the moment she stepped foot on campus as a CMU student.
Andrea — who came to CMU from 120 miles to the southeast at the base of Michigan's "Thumb" — signed up for Leadership Safari with the goal of making new friends.
The immediate pride she felt in CMU inspired her to bring that feeling to other incoming students.
"As soon as I went through Safari, I knew I wanted to be on staff," she said. "They were so full of energy and knowledge, and I was up for the challenge."
Her sophomore year she joined the Safari team as a CTeam member. In that role, she helped facilitate student connections through challenge courses, group activities, games and more. After two years on the CTeam, Andrea took on the role of Core Guide, in which she helped train Safari staff.
As a senior, Andrea is still involved with Safari as an undergraduate staff assistant, booking speakers, handling logistics and coordinating training.
"What I love about Safari is the family. Everyone cares so deeply for each other, and we all push each other to be better every day," she said. "Safari is the first event that makes students feel like this is their home and truly welcome them into the CMU community. Beyond dancing to The Wobble and the silly signs and headbands, this conference is really about making connections with other students, staff, resources and starting to find their passions."
As she approaches graduation, Andrea said her time with Safari, in the classroom, on campus, with friends and faculty, has prepared her for the next chapter in her life.
"CMU is teaching me that leadership goes beyond the classroom, and I am capable of great things, as long as I pursue them," she said. "Working hard is critical, but having a support team will make it easier."