(Disclaimer: I am aware of the current story circulating about Rebekah Erler being a former democratic staffer. However, this does not mean that she isn’t or wasn’t a college student. I am not writing this article to promote any political party, I am writing it for moms in college.)
Did you see the State of the Union address last night? I want to share this story because I know that many of you can relate.
Rebekah Erler is a working mother and a successful community college student. She went to college after the housing and construction industry fell and work became difficult to obtain for her family. Rebekah and her husband have overcome the obstacles that many of us face. And when she could no longer remain silent, she voiced her concerns to President Obama — and he responded! Seeing her on the SOTU and hearing her story truly inspired me just as all of you do. Seeing her there next to Michelle Obama, proud to be noticed for what she has done to overcome, that means something to me. It means something to me because as an older student and a mom in college, she did what we all should do — she used her right to put her voice out into the world and she was heard. She represented each and every one of us in one way or another. I cannot really express how important that is to me — to have seen her there, the representative for so many moms in college, so many community college students. It is so important that we act on those things we know need to be changed, even if we fear going unnoticed. Each of us has a voice and we need to use that voice — in our country and on our college campus. Rebekah is truly my hero for overcoming her obstacles and bringing attention to people like us — moms in college. Even if you don’t believe her story is true, there are millions of moms in college that have experienced this struggle.
It is my hope that the government can take her story seriously, that they consider the community college demographic which consists of a greater number of students like Rebekah and myself as opposed to traditional students — and not only by age, but by working status. More than half of community college students are also tax payers. It is my hope that other moms out there who are considering college are inspired to pursue that dream either by necessity or otherwise because of her willingness to stand up and use her voice. Rebekah Erler is my hero, and so are all of you!
If you missed it, here is a short video featuring part of the story: