Randi Goodwin came to Illinois State with a clear focus: to one day become a criminal psychologist who works with juveniles and adolescents. The freshman criminal justice and psychology major already brings a unique perspective to her studies. During her junior and senior years of high school, Goodwin tutored youth in the St. Claire County Juvenile Detention Center and Illinois Youth Center Pere Marquette, a step-down juvenile facility that specializes in reintegrating black youth into society.

“I was able to see first-hand the struggles many of my students endured, ultimately leading them down the wrong paths in life,” said Goodwin.

The experience also highlighted for Goodwin the connection between the effects of poverty and mental health issues. “Living in poverty is a major stressor that affects people’s mental health,” said Goodwin. “It’s often overlooked in impoverished communities like East Saint Louis.”

Goodwin is working to become a positive force in such communities through her studies at ISU. Her journey to Illinois State was solidified with the Kenneth and Mary Ann Shaw Scholarship. “Receiving the scholarship helped me finalize my college decision. I wanted to go to a university that made me feel welcomed. I also wanted to graduate with the least amount of debt possible,” she said.

Goodwin is already making the most of her college experience and is grateful for the financial support she received. To her donors, Goodwin says, “Because of you, I can work hard to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Scholarship support has been the largest area to benefit from donor contributions during the Redbirds Rising campaign. There are a variety of giving vehicles through which to contribute to students like Randi Goodwin. For more information about available giving opportunities, visit Giving.IllinoisState.edu/gift.