For as long as Andrea can remember, community service has been a driving force in her life. It is also what lured her into the world of UNH. In the short time that Andrea has been at this university, she has continued her commitment to community ser- vice while interconnecting her academic explorations. The Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service (better known as PrOVES) provided Andrea with a foundation for college life before the school year even commenced. The PrOVES program selects students like Andrea to move onto campus prior to Fall Opening. Incoming first-year students not only get the opportunity to become acquainted with the college community through volunteer work, they also learn about the greater community surrounding UNH. The program also provided Andrea with a network of friends she still talks with almost two semesters later. When things are rocky, Andrea turns to her PrOVES buddies.
Due to her excellent grades in high school, volunteer work, and financial need, Andrea was awarded a Rising Scholar Award from the Center for Academic Resources (CFAR). As a result of this monetary award, she was required to meet with Randy Schroeder, the Math, Technology and Graduate Services Coordinator at the Center. “I went in with an idea of what I wanted help with. I wanted reassurance about ideas such as picking the right major. Because of Randy and my English 401 teacher Dawn Haines, I now know I want to do something with English.” Randy really helped to point Andrea in the right direction academically, encouraging her to participate in first-year groups and study groups. When times got rough in Calculus, Randy and the CFAR staff were there to help. “Not getting a good grade in a class was a new thing for me. The CFAR staff really helped me be rational about my situation and also made me realize that straight A’s in high school do not necessarily equal straight A’s in college. It’s an incredibly hard thing to accept.” Andrea still meets with Randy and the staff at CFAR because she feels that she can truly learn from their experiences.
Andrea found a home in Richardson House (a themed community dedicated to community service) in the Mini Dorms. “I have really enjoyed getting closer to others in the building and helping with service projects like the Oyster River Cleanup. My RA, Ellen Donohue, has been so helpful. She has created so many activities and is really dedicated. Because of her, I hope to be an RA in the future.” Andrea also stumbled upon a work study position in the Mini Dorms, where she is the Mini Dorms Staff Assistant. “I get to wear pajamas to work if I want. It’s quite a responsibility as there are confidentiality issues involved with the job but I feel important, like I’m contributing. I get to have fun at work, have a good relationship with my boss and get to meet Resident Assistants and students I wouldn’t meet otherwise. Plus, I can work at 10am or midnight. It couldn’t be more flexible.”
What does the future hold for Andrea? “Studying abroad. I want to combine my love of community service and my growing passion for traveling to help others. I’ve realized that helping others is my goal in life.” Andrea hopes to work in a Mother Theresa House in India, where individuals and volunteers help educate and take care of ill and/or disabled adults and children. “I’ve never been out of the country. We need to realize that our way of life is extremely different from most of the world.” She eventually wants to enter the Peace Corps as well. When asked where she would like to serve Andrea stated, “That’s something that I’m still trying to figure out. I’ll know when the time comes.”
Magnificent opportunities and memories are in store for Andrea as she has formed a strong foundation, both socially and academically, in the short time that she has been here. When asked what advice she would give to incoming students, Andrea said, “While forming a social foundation on campus is crucial, don’t forget the relationships you have at home. When you can’t talk to your friends because they have a test tomorrow, your family is still there. To this day, my best friend is my mother and college hasn’t changed that.”
Andrea has truly found a balance here at UNH which can serve as an inspiration to us all.