Excellence: Woman of the House

Rebecca Dow GraduatesTulsa, OK - When Rebecca Dow headed to New Mexico in 1999, she wasn't planning on running for office. No, the ORU alum was simply looking to plant a faith-based non-profit organization in the city of Truth or Consequences; it wasn't long until the AppleTree Educational Center was up and running and beginning to bear fruit.

By early 2016, Dow had a pair of kids in college (also at ORU) and was finishing up a second bachelor's degree in business through ORU's online learning portal. However, as she looked around Sierra County, she felt that she could do more.

"Last year, when the national data came out, our county became the poorest county [in New Mexico]," Dow says. Her solution? To run for the New Mexico state legislature.

"I decided to run so I could keep my eyes and ears open for economic opportunities and just to create a higher opportunity," she says. "We just can't overcome poverty unless people have more economic opportunity."

What was already a busy season became busier. In the midst of keeping AppleTree going, hosting short-term missions teams from ORU, being a long-distance parent to her two college-student kids, and finishing her own degree online, Dow faced the gauntlet of a run for office.

The good thing, though, was that she felt prepared, and she credits her time as a student at ORU with a portion of that preparation.

"The whole person approach is what most prepared me for my work," she says. "And in making no small plans! So I felt very prepared for office and my career because of my time at ORU."