Illinois State University freshman criminal justice and psychology major Randi Goodwin fell in love with Illinois State University before she was offered the school’s most prestigious first-year scholarship.
“The first time I saw the campus, I was like, ‘This is the place that I think I want to be at. It’s beautiful. It feels so homey here,’” Goodwin said. “It felt like everything that I imagined college would be like.”
Goodwin is one of few freshmen to receive the Presidential Scholarship at ISU.
“It made me feel more welcome because I felt like they really wanted me here and they saw something special in me that other schools didn’t quite see,” Goodwin said.
On top of the presidential scholarship, Goodwin also received the Kenneth and Mary Ann Shaw scholarship for freshmen.
“This additional scholarship is really important to me because I was worried about student loan debt, and the Presidential Sholarship only covers like half of what you have to pay here,” Goodwin said.
“Overall, my transition from high school to college is a lot smoother because I didn’t have to worry about having that student loan debt.”
Goodwin said the instructors at ISU also impacted her smooth transition to college life.
“A lot of schools don’t have professors that care as much about all their students as Illinois State professors do, and they’re so well-rounded with all their studies,” Goodwin said.
Though many students struggle to find their passion during the first few years of college, Goodwin has always been a step ahead.
“I knew criminal justice was probably going to be something I would look into because I’ve always been surrounded by the shows that we see all the time like CSI, which aren’t even good depictions of what the criminal justice system is,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin chose her second major in psychology after talking with her sister, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at St. Louis University.
“I can help the people who face a lot of stressors and often end up in the prison system or the juvenile detention centers because of their mental health issues and not being able to properly battle and control those things,” Goodwin said.
Currently, Goodwin plans on becoming a correctional or criminal psychologist.
“Overall, people come into jail with similar stressors, and that can affect them from a young age up until the point where they get into the system, which sets them on a direct path into the prison system,” Goodwin said.
“I want them to feel like they can have control in their life again by giving them the mental help that they need in order to get back on the right track.”