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Where Are They Now Alumni Profile - Meet Becky Capps

two photos of Rio Salado College alumna Becky Capps, one in a graduation cap and gown

Where Are They Now Alumni Profile - Meet Becky Capps

Don’t Retire, Re-career! Rio Helps Muralist Find New Calling Serving Others

In 2008, Becky Capps found herself at a crossroads. Due to the recession, the then 58-year-old professional artist and muralist’s work opportunities were drying up. A chance shopping encounter led Capps to re-evaluate her education and career options.

“When the recession of 2008-2010 affected my mural business so deeply, I was pondering what I should do to pay my bills,” Capps said. “I was shopping at Paradise Valley Mall and saw a sign for Rio Salado and felt it was perhaps something I could look into.”

The recently divorced mother of three enrolled in online classes with a goal of working in a job where she could help others. 

“As an older student, I had a choice to retire easily or repurpose my life, which is what I did,” Capps said. “Instead of crumbling, I allowed my life story to continue.”
Capps thrived in the online environment earning straight As, President’s Honor Roll accolades and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. 

“From the first class I took, I was hooked on online learning,” Capps said. “I loved learning from home where I could work on my own schedule. I was helping my daughter take care of her new babies at the time, so it was a great opportunity to study when they were napping.”

In May 2014, at age 63, Capps completed her associate degree in family life education with an emphasis on adult development and aging. She followed that up by earning a bachelor’s degree from Arizona Christian University and a Master of Divinity from the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University.

So where is Capps today?

“After I earned my MDiv, I enrolled in the Clinical Pastoral Education program at the Marion Illinois Veterans Administration Medical Center, where I was recently appointed as staff chaplain,” Capps said.

“My future is to continue ministering to veterans, their families, and the staff who serve them,” Capps said. “I am not one who sees retirement as a goal. I will work until I no longer am able because I thrive on serving others.”

Capps credits Rio Salado with providing her the foundation to realize a new career at the age where others would be choosing retirement.

“Returning to school at a later age was interesting because I wanted to learn; it was not just an expected thing to do after high school,” Capps said. “My Rio Salado counselor also helped me when I determined social work was not my calling. She helped me identify where my heart was leading me which was still helping people but in a different manner.”

Capps doesn’t hesitate recommending Rio Salado to those considering online learning.

“Rio is an outstanding college, and I was never disappointed with any aspect of it,” Capps said. “My instructors were amazingly helpful, and some have impacted my life in ways they will never know. At one point I wanted to be an instructor at Rio, however that is on hold these days as I have my plate very full.”

If you are thinking about recareering, check out all the certificate and degree programs available at Rio Salado College.

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