Valley veteran and Firebaugh native chosen as Fresno State Undergraduate Deans' Medalist

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With Fresno State graduation just weeks away, we're taking action to highlight some students with remarkable stories.

Firebaugh native Rebekah Moses says growing up, she wasn't sure college was in the cards.

"I did not have the means or funds to go to college at all," said Moses.

To help pay for school, she decided to join the military at 17 years old. That was in the summer of 2001. Just months later, everything changed on September 11th.

"The focus of going to school was no longer a priority. It was dealing with the war on terrorism," said Moses. "You see the gravity of what's going on and it becomes a more serious undertaking."

Rebekah served in the navy for eight years and married her high school sweetheart.

When it was time to start a family, she decided to make a change.

"Being a mom and serving is very difficult and I really wanted to be more active in my children's lives," explained Moses.

After receiving an honorable discharge, Rebekah turned her attention to raising four children. But as they grew up, she decided to return to school. She spent two years at Fresno City College and then transferred to Fresno State amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I was determined to not let that slow me down," said Moses. "I really wanted to attend Fresno State even if it was online."

Over the past two years, she's worked both virtually and in-person towards a degree in Health Science while maintaining a 4.0 and still being active with the Veteran's program.

"Any activity on campus, she's been there -- supportive, engaged with her fellow veteran students," said Veteran's Counselor Russell Gross.

The Undergraduate Deans' Medalist will start her masters degree this fall with dreams to be an administrator at the veterans hospital in Fresno.

"My goal was just to graduate, go across the stage and get my diploma and this has been so much more than I imagined possible," said Moses.
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