What RISE means to me, Stephanie.
RISE was something I thought would be cool; I thought would be relevant to what I love and get me places in life. And sure, it will do that, it will let me love pigs and work in a greenhouse and appreciate the environment. But what has amazed and changed my mind the most about RISE is the community. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and almost everyone has a smile on their face when they go to say hi. I love that about RISE; its happiness. We may not be the smartest bunch or the most outgoing, but we seem to be very happy people who just want to make the world a better place. I find that to be more inspiring than anything I could ever have imagined. The environment is just perfect for people who need to find their place. I can sit here writing a blog post in the lounge, eating from a large jar of applesauce, and no one glares or gives me dirty looks; instead, they accept or even praise my love of apple-y goodness. Even in this silent room of RISE members right now, I feel at ease, and that is magical to me because RISE has not only become a place of safety, it is a place of comfort. On this giant campus where it is so easy to lose yourself, I find myself daily as a member of RISE. I have other friends outside of RISE, but I call none other than my RISE members family, and I feel no other place on campus fits me better than my place beside them. When I left Illinois at eight years old, I lost my home, but coming to MSU and joining RISE, I have found home again, and I would not change that for the world .