Student Spotlight: An Advocate for Justice

We sat down with recent ICC Alum, Stephanie Goodman, to hear her story and find out how Illinois Central College helped prepare her for a future career in Criminal Justice.

“My experience here has been pretty great. The instructors that I’ve had have worked with me really well and have really prepared me for real life experiences,” said Goodman. “They make us think critically about real life situations, and it’s been helping.”

A gregarious student with an affable nature, Goodman had taken part in several extracurricular activities before graduating from Peoria Central High School. But it was her participation in Key Club and volunteering opportunities that caused her to get more involved with people and drove her interest in Criminal Justice, not in order to lay down the law, but rather, to be a helping hand to those on the wrong side of it.

“The reason that I chose [Criminal Justice] was because I do want to help …the public in general be informed of their rights and just to be active and involved in the community,” said Goodman. “I really want to be a victim’s advocate. I’m not really sure in what, but what I see myself doing is if someone needs legal advice, I would be able to help them with that….If they don’t know their rights, I would be able to inform them of what they are and lead them in the right direction and the choices they should make legally.”

While studying at ICC, Goodman was able to obtain real-world experience exploring local detention centers.

“Dr. White’s class [took us] to the Peoria county jail, and we even went to the juvenile delinquent center. That’s been helpful and interesting,” said Goodman. “What those visits helped me realize was that I don’t want to work in corrections. I believe there are special people for those jobs, but it helped me realize that I want to be more on the administrative side of things.”

Originally Goodman had plans to go straight to a four-year university out of high school, but she realized that maybe it was better to start small first.

“Before I started here, I was less confident, and ICC helped me open up more that way and conduct myself in a professional manner. It helped me with time management and to stay focused and determined in the next step I want to go right now. I realized I needed to have patience, mature, and start small first.”

While she may have started small, in the past two years Goodman has accomplished a lot. From holding down a full-time job while going to school full-time, Goodman is ready to carry on her success as she transfers to Lincoln College to complete an accelerated bachelor’s program.

“A college education to me shows that you have motivation and you’re determined to get to whatever goal that you have set for yourself.”

When asked if she had any advice for future students, she had this to say:

“Go do whatever you set your mind to. The most important thing is to stay focused and don’t stop. There will be plenty of times where you want to quit, but just keep going and reach that goal you set for yourself so you can do something better.”

At ICC we can help you reach your educational goals. Find a program that matches your interests, and enjoy yourself along the way. Search ICC’s programs for your dream job!