After exploring several different career paths and options for her future, Robyn Foster, a Daley College alumna who uses the stage name Robii Bijou, is getting ready to make her mark in the screenwriting industry.

Robyn grew up in Englewood, where she was exposed to the arts at an early age. She wrote poetry, and her favorite family memories involved watching movie marathons at home. Outside of the arts, her other passion was healthcare. She graduated from Julian High School and enrolled at Daley College to pursue a career in nursing. Her ultimate goal was to become a certified nurse-midwife (CNM).

Robyn started taking pre-requisite classes with that goal in mind but felt discouraged when she didn’t do well in her biology classes. She decided to take a break from school to identify what she truly wanted to do for her career. During that break, she realized she wanted to tell stories for a living.

“When I was 29, I decided I needed to go back and get my degree,” Robyn said. “This time, I decided to go for what I really wanted to—I wanted to write.”

When she re-enrolled in 2021, Robyn was less than 20% away from finishing her associate degree. She took a variety of classes—from speech to African American studies—to complete her program, and took advantage of several resources along the way. During her last semester, Robyn received a grant from City Colleges to pay for her final class. She was also able to keep the brand-new loaner laptop she had borrowed from City Colleges through the Learn to Own laptop program.

While Robyn was nervous to pursue a bachelor’s degree, she made connections at the Transfer Center and decided to tour Chicago State University. The staff she met on campus that day encouraged her to apply for the Honors College at the school, which would pay for her classes at CSU, and she was accepted.

“I got in and all of my classes transferred,” Robyn said. “During my very first class—African American theater—I was listening to my professor go over the syllabus and my eyes started welling up. I thought to myself, ‘this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.’ City Colleges played a big role in helping me get here.”

Robyn is currently completing the Communications, Media Arts, & Theatre (CMAT) program at CSU, and she’s become extremely involved on campus. She’s captain of the flag team and secretary of the trivia team, where she competes in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), an academic quiz bowl competition for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She also serves as chair of the activities committee within the Honors College. Additionally, Robyn was recently selected to be a Yard Ambassador & Influencer for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and she is part of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios’ Storytellers Lab, a highly-selective nine-month program that helps students of color prepare to become content creators.

Robyn plans to graduate from Chicago State with her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2025. She hopes to continue her education and earn a graduate degree, but she’s not waiting until then to begin her career in the business. Robyn has already written and starred in her own play, and she has written and directed two short films.

As she continues to build her resume in the field, she looks back on her time at Daley College as a major turning point.

“City Colleges gave me a head start… it prepared me to transfer to a four-year university,” Robyn said. “A lot of times, we’re afraid of what we’re not familiar with, but going to Daley taught me, ‘yeah, I can do this.’”