Ryburn ’24 Continues Education at Illinois Wesleyan
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As a recipient of the McLean County Scholarship Guarantee, first-year Illinois Wesleyan University psychology major Haven Ryburn ’24 is beginning
her college career having already gained eight years of experience in the workforce.
Ryburn, a non-traditional student who graduated from Bloomington High School in 2012,
works full time as Director of Operations at the Coffee Hound. She also volunteers
with the BCAI School of Arts (Breaking Chains & Advancing Increase) as lead of the
school’s visual arts team.
“Attending university was something that felt very out of reach for a very long time,”
Ryburn said. “The money raised by the Associates is funding students' dreams. The
McLean County Scholarship is everything. Being older, and more independent, means
that every little bit helps.”
While attending Admitted Student Day, Ryburn instantly felt that Illinois Wesleyan
was the right fit. Now that she’s a student, Ryburn said she’s proud of the University’s
demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“I knew right away this was the place for me, being older and feeling like I may stand
out, but have never been treated that way,” Ryburn said. “The way they treat every
student, staff, and faculty with respect and support. It’s powerful.”
Through her psychology degree, Ryburn hopes to pursue a career in art therapy.
“I’ve always had an interest in psychology, I enjoy understanding why people make
the decisions they make; how the human mind works,” Ryburn said. “My work with the
BCAI School of Arts helped inspire me. I teach students from diverse backgrounds new
creative outlets,” Ryburn said. “My goal is to learn to be of better service to the
students to express themselves on a deeper level creatively.”
Ryburn admittedly has to manage the obligations and stress of a fulltime job, a full-time
courseload and a busy volunteer schedule. Yet, she is grateful for the experience
of it all.
“The campus is beautiful,” Ryburn said. “I’ve gotten to have a few quiet moments,
early in the morning, to sit and read on the quad. Nothing beats it.”