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Raelyn Roberson

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This series is brought to you by United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

Ever since joining SMU, SAAC has played an important role during my time as a student-athlete here.

During my freshman year, SAAC’s president and vice president for communications were on my track team. They approached me one day and said, “We’re leaving, and we need people to fill our spots.”

And since I’ve always enjoyed leadership positions, I thought it would be a good fit for me and a good way to meet new people and make a difference.

Fast forward to today, and I’m now the President, aiming to bring people together, build community, and move the program forward.

Discovering track & field

But let’s rewind for a second, and let me tell you a bit about what actually brought me to SMU — track & field.

It’s actually kind of a unique story.

Unlike most athletes who start playing sports at a young age, I didn’t start until seventh grade.

But hey, better late than never, right?

Initially, I was into volleyball and basketball. And I guess you can say basketball led me to track and field.

There was a moment when I was dribbling the ball and, well, I outran it. I was getting too fast for my own good, and I couldn’t dribble fast enough to keep up.

I know, it sounds a bit ridiculous, but that’s when I realized I may be best suited for the track.

And I mean, both my parents did track, and even though they didn’t do it in college, they loved it.

So, I gave it a shot.

Fast forward a few years to my freshman year in high school, and my mindset started to shift.

And the goals.

I set my sights higher — breaking records, winning championships, and ultimately, making it to SMU.

Role as SAAC President

And SAAC has been an integral part of my time here at SMU.

As president, my goal is to bring our community together. I have a big heart for community and believe in the power of unity.

When I joined SAAC during my freshman year, I saw the potential to meet amazing people, especially during the challenging times of COVID.

Initially, I didn’t think about being President.

I started as a general member and gradually worked my way up.

Seeing the president at the time, Annabelle Corcoran, in action, though, inspired me. She represented athletics well and organized events that brought us together.

That’s when I realized that following her footsteps could be a great opportunity to make an impact.

Now, I run our SAAC meetings, coordinate with our advisor for event planning, and bring fresh ideas to the table.

I’m actually also the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion, and represent SMU on the American Athletic Conference SAAC as well.

But my ultimate goal as SAAC President is to bring our community together. I want to bridge the gap between different sports teams and make SAAC meetings more than just another task on everyone’s to-do list.

I want people to be excited to attend and genuinely connect with one another.

But my ultimate goal as SAAC President is to bring our community together. I want to bridge the gap between different sports teams and make SAAC meetings more than just another task on everyone's to-do list.

My goals

First and foremost, I want to continue focusing on mental health. As a student-athlete, I know how crucial mental well-being is. The pressure can be intense, and I want to ensure our student-athletes have the support they need.

Secondly, I want to continue our community outreach efforts. Last year, we organized an event called the Fire Truck Pull, raising $21,000 for pediatric cancer. It was incredible and set the bar high.

This year, I want us to surpass that number and get more people from the community involved. I believe in the power of coming together for a cause and making a positive impact.

Finally, I want to bring student-athletes closer. With so many teams practicing in different locations, it’s hard to truly connect. I want to create opportunities for us to interact, share our experiences, and build strong relationships.

When we feel like one big family, we can achieve great things together.

As far as my post-college sports ambitions go, I do have my eyes set on medical school.

I want to become a pediatrician.

I’ve always been drawn to the field of medicine, and my own childhood pediatrician inspired me. I want to be a doctor who truly gets to know their patients, listens to their concerns, and provides holistic care.

Overall, making a positive impact in people’s lives is my ultimate goal. And I want to accomplish that as an athlete, SAAC President, and in my professional career.