Randie D. Camp

Randie triumphs at Iowa State

Randie started at Iowa State in the fall of 2007. She decided to continue school after completing her undergraduate degree in elementary education. Although her studies prepared her for teaching, her personal life experiences and professional goals led her to pursuing her Ph.D. in human development and family studies.

“With more and more practicums (that) I did, it became apparent teaching wasn’t what I wanted,” Randie said. “I want to help kids with disabilities, and as a teacher, you don’t get to do that. Teachers want to help students but the focus on test scores makes it difficult for helping students cope with life and challenges to be the priority.”

Randie’s desire to help kids stems from her own challenges growing up. As a child she and her siblings bounced between foster homes with her brother, who had a learning disability. By age 16, Randie was living with her foster family—the only one she considers her real family—in Pleasant Hill. During her teenage years, Randie left to live independently in Des Moines, where she was then transferred to Youth and Shelter Services in Ames.

“I flourished here,” Randie said. “I moved up the program very quickly and got a job working at Panera.”

Once she started her job, her friend, Alissa, who was working on her master’s at the time, convinced Randie to go back. And she did, receiving her high school diploma from DMACC with a plan to study at Iowa State.

In the midst of this, she got pregnant with her son. After that, Randie focused on her education and her son. She graduated and started her master’s program. She took a human development and family studies course online and enjoyed it. At the time she didn’t know she could switch into the HDFS program, but her professor explained the process, and Randie made the switch.

“It was a completely different feeling,” she said. “It felt like I was in the right spot. Finally, my work was meant to help families.”

There’s no doubt Randie  went through a lot, between her past and completing school as a single mom, but she came out of it a strong, successful person. And she wants to use her degree to help others who’ve gone through similar things.

“As a minority, former foster youth, child of poverty, survivor of abuse and sexual assault, single mother, and a plethora of other “disadvantages”… I still made it,” she said. “And I’m not done.”