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Ryanne Mace had a special ability to help and comfort people because of her innate compassion and empathy. In high school, Ryanne made a point to extend her friendship to those who felt that they didn’t quite fit in. She was level-headed and non-judgmental, and as a result, many went to her for advice. At some point she decided that counseling was what she wanted to do with her life.
At NIU, Ryanne, a 19-year-old sophomore from Carpentersville, was an honors student studying psychology with the intention of attaining a doctorate-level degree and working in the field of counseling. She had already served an internship in high school at a counseling center. As a student, she studied French, had played violin in the symphony orchestra at Dundee-Crown High School and was an avid reader, sometimes juggling four or five books at a time. But she was also a typical college student who would sleep past noon, was willing to stand in line at midnight for the next Harry Potter offering and collected things of all sorts.
Ryanne was known and well liked by faculty members at NIU who described her as a young woman who was intellectually engaged, highly motivated, outgoing and friendly. Ryanne was interested in studying mental illness. She was always friendly and laughing—just a really good kid. Ryanne was one of those students who really wanted to be there.
Ryanne’s family and friends will always remember her as a funny, kind, intelligent and compassionate young woman. It was her goal to dedicate her life to helping others be better than they thought they could be. Despite being taken before her time, Ryanne’s desire to help others will be fulfilled even in her absence. Her family and friends have established this scholarship so that her legacy will live on.