Randiss Hopkins, Northern Illinois University

Randiss HopkinsRandiss Hopkins, a senior at Northern Illinois University majoring in Jazz Performance and Community Leadership and Civic Engagement, is deeply involved in the development of campus and community service leaders and partners. In the summer of 2013, he founded an intuitive, student-led nonprofit organization, The Remember Project. The project connects college students with Chicago teens in a unique mentoring programs. In just one year of existence, The Remember Project has had over 200 college student leaders that have collectively accounted for over 1,000 hours of service by being positive role models for youth in Chicago through hosting student panels for Chicago Public Schools about overcoming life obstacles and the importance of higher education. Randiss engaged a number of NIU students in service throughout several inner-city communities where students were able to prepare meals for the homeless, complete several landscaping projects while sharing their college experience and impacting the lives of over 300 youth. Randiss’ student leadership continues to inspire others to make the most of their college experience through service, advocacy, and leadership.
-Douglas Baker, President

My name is Randiss Hopkins and I am a student at Northern Illinois University studying Jazz Performance (piano)/Community Leadership and Civic Engagement. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?” I always had a heart to help others, but I wasn’t introduced to service until I came to college. During the spring semester of my sophomore year I joined the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. organization and we participated in NIU Cares Day, which is our university’s largest day of volunteerism. This was my first time ever volunteering and to see so many college students unified for a common cause had a huge impact on my life. As I approached my senior year, I noticed that as much as I was becoming more engaged in organizations and making change at the university, it didn’t mean anything if I wasn’t being a leader in the Chicago community where I was born and raised. In the summer of 2013 I started a nonprofit organization called the Remember Project which engages college students in coming back to be positive role models for inner-city youth in Chicago. In January of 2015, I received the P.E.A.C.E. Award (Probity. Equality. Achievement. Community. Excellence) at NIU in honor of Dr. King. As much as possible, I try to remind myself of his famous quote and be the answer to his most persistent and urgent question.
-Randiss Hopkins