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WIU Psychology Alumna Attributes Success to WIU Resources

Ke’Arra Stevens, an alumna of Western Illinois University's Psychology program, reminisced about how WIU's resources and courses played a crucial role in helping her navigate the journey of becoming a first-generation graduate.

Stevens, a 2022 WIU Psychology graduate, used WIU resources to navigate turning her dreams into reality.

“When I came to WIU as a transfer student, I was blinded by the weight of my circumstances which often made me feel inadequate,” Stevens said. “Through my hopelessness, I discovered WIU’s resources which helped me see success as a reality.”

Stevens credits the University Counseling Center, the University Writing Center, tutoring resources in Malpass Library, and the University Career Center for contributing to shaping her career path.

“Throughout the course of my four years on campus I had an idea of what I wanted to be, but just needed help with navigating how to get there,” Stevens said. “That is what the career center helped establish for me.”

In addition to the career center, Stevens took a University 390 course in career preparation that taught her important skills for joining the workforce.

“As my senior year was coming to an end, hopelessness tried to creep its way back in, but with the assistance of my class University 390 that I took with WIU Career Center Coordinator Mandi McRaven, I was able to understand that my unfortunate circumstances did not define me but made me even more qualified,” Stevens said. “Through her encouraging words, the opportunities of attending the career fair and impeccable training; in writing resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches and the interviewing process, my hopelessness finally turned into aspiration.”

After graduation, Stevens continued using the career alumni resources to find the right position to begin her career path. This led her to becoming a domestic violence children’s counselor at Western Illinois Regional Council-Victim Services Agency located in Macomb.

“Now I can say hopelessness is just a fog in my rearview mirror on my journey to success and I thank WIU for my experience here and allowing me to see that failures aren’t the end of the road but maybe just a yield into the right direction,” Stevens said. “I am also glad to have discovered that my circumstances weren’t greater than my destiny. So now, my hope as a fellow Leatherneck is that you do too!”

For more information on WIU’s Department of Psychology, visit For more information on WIU resources, visit For more information on WIU’s Career Center, visit

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