Caroline Hardy came to Central Michigan University because she knew she could combine her passion to lead with something to make it into a career. But she didn't know what that something would be.
So, the Livonia native started her freshman year with a bunch of high-adventure classes to explore while getting comfortable on campus and meeting new people. She spent her time rock climbing and running ropes courses. Three of her classes were with Jordan Bruursema, professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration.
"He does such a great job of connecting with students," Caroline said. "It was literally just another day of RPL class. But I realized this could be a future for me."
She likes being outside. She gets satisfaction from working with people. And she enjoys leading people through adventures.
"I thought, 'wait, those are careers people do.'" she said. "There were so many possibilities and opportunities. Now I have this interest and I can start using the leadership side, too."
Bruursema encouraged Caroline to chase her passion of leadership within the department. She followed his advice and is now combining her love of leadership and passion for outdoor adventures. As a Centralis Gold scholarship recipient and a member of the Leader Advancement Scholar cohort, she is able to keep the two programs and her two interests intertwined through class projects and planning her future capstone project.
"I'm living my best life and am doing something I love already," Caroline said.