Leave this world better than you found it.
Aryka Rice lives by that motto. Whether she’s volunteering at soup kitchens or homeless shelters, the University of Michigan-Dearborn student strives to improve the lives of others.
That’s why, this year, Aryka is a “Difference Maker.”
But her personal goals don’t stop with improving the lives of others. She has more lofty ambitions, which include improving an entire community.
“My life dream is to see my hometown, Detroit, regain its fame for being a wonderfully industrial city,” she said.
In doing so, Aryka plans to work with community organizations and businesses to design outlines and strategies to help restore faith in the Motor City.
“I would like to give people more reasons to spend time in Detroit,” she said. “I would like to attract tourists and entertainers and businesses to the city. I would also like to open a nonprofit organization that would help homeless people become productive members in society and get back on their feet.”
Aryka’s leadership qualities stem from her involvement on campus. She served as an orientation leader, where she provided campus tours, led icebreakers and activities and worked closely with admissions and counseling staff to ensure that incoming students had a smooth transition to the University.
Aryka also has benefited from her involvement in the Blueprints Leadership Program, which she described as “a turning point in my life.”
Her efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed.
“When I think about quiet leadership, I think about Aryka Rice,” said Amy Karaban, assistant director of student activities. “In the time I’ve known Aryka, she has been nothing short of impressive. She takes great pride in her work, in what she commits to and in making a difference. I can’t wait to see what direction Aryka’s life takes her – but I know that she is going to make major changes in Detroit with her dedication, passion and zest for community.”