Tribal college student Rebecca Diaz is grateful for the help she and her family receive from supporters of the American Indian College Fund. This veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces wants to provide the people in her community a needed service, and earning a college degree is the first big step to realize that dream.
Except for her years in the military, the reservation has always been Rebecca’s home. Because most reservations are on or near isolated rural areas, she has seen her neighbors struggle with the lack of easily accessible services. During tax season, for example, many have to take a long trip to the nearest town by car or cab to visit a tax accountant because there is no public transportation available. She says that is particularly hard on the elders in her community.
But Rebecca has a solution. She wants to get a degree in accounting and become a CPA. “Once I become a CPA, I want to start my own business on the reservation. Starting a business here would not only benefit the community, it would keep the economy going on the reservation,” she says.
As the sole breadwinner of the family, this energetic second year college student is very grateful for scholarship funding. “We have two toddlers with developmental issues and my husband stays home to care for them,” she says. Scholarships help them avoid the financial stress that one-income households often face, she notes.
It is readily apparent that this bright, hardworking woman is deeply grateful to the supporters of the College Fund. “You have provided more than anyone could imagine,” she says. “I know there was a point when more than one student said to themselves, ‘I can’t afford this and I’m just going to quit,’ but you gave them the chance to keep going.”
Rebecca, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe, was also featured at the American Indian College Fund’s 25th Anniversary Gala in New York City.