Student Spotlight

Kayla Trail

 Shondella Davis is a lot like other students on campus, but setting her aside from the others is her determination, drive and her passionate want to strive.

 Davis, a first generation college student, is currently in the process of finishing her final semester here at Western Illinois University, as she will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in law enforcement this May.

 From the beginning, Davis knew she wanted to attend Western as it is so well known for it’s law enforcement programs and opportunities, but an unexpected obstacle was thrown at Davis and her family.

 “Western originally was my first school of choice,” Davis said. “But due to my mom’s illness, I was not able to attend Western (during) my first few years of college.”

 Davis’ mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer, an illness that unfortunately took her mother’s life in 2011 when she was just 40 years old.

 “Although my mom died at a very young age, she taught me the true meaning of strength, how to fight until the battle is over,” Davis said. “I strongly believe I’m physically and mentally ready to enter the field of law enforcement, because I have a great support system.”

 Along with choosing Western due to its high reputation, it had a lot to offer for Davis.

 “Getting accepted here in 2014 was one of the most exciting things that has happened to me,” Davis said. “I have joined so many law enforcement clubs, such as Corrections and Minorities in Blue. Western has an excellent staff that goes beyond the classroom setting that have helped with me picking the right career path.”

 Davis has three brothers who helped make her choice to move to a career and future in law enforcement, and she also had family that have faced police brutality first hand.

 “Growing up on the west-side of Chicago, I faced a lot of terrible obstacles,” Davis said. “I watched many of my family members enter and exit the criminal justice system. What really inspired me to major in criminal justice was because I wanted to make a difference in society. I strongly believe that our system does a great job punishing offenders, but does not do a good job rehabilitating offenders. I have three brothers that also encouraged me to enter this field, because the African American community needs someone that is not afraid to make a stand to decrease police brutality. My brother’s and uncle’s that have encountered law enforcement officials informed me of all the terrible things they had to face.”

 When Davis isn’t studying and attending class, she works at the local Wal-Mart, where she enjoys working with her “fellow classmates and interacting with others.”

 She also said that for her plans after college, she is intending on just relaxing and looking for a job, and then for the future to look into going
back to school.

 “After college, I plan on taking things really slow,” Davis said. “(I plan on) finding a job in my career, which is becoming a probation officer and working with juvenile offenders. Someday I hope to return back to college to pursue a master degree in communication.”