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A Journey of Healing and Learning: Raquela’s Inspiring Story1/26/2022

How a Rio Rancho high school student continued her education after a lymphoma diagnosis.

Raquela smiling in front of Sandia mountainsRaquela Divett is an 18-year-old student from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She loves math, making new friends, and celebrating accomplishments with her fellow students. Raquela was diagnosed with lymphoma in early high school. After receiving her diagnosis, she was pulled out of school while she and her mom, Pamela, visited different doctors to find a treatment plan.

“It was so nerve-wracking, thinking about Raquela’s school while we were going through her diagnosis. When we met Monica at the Mimbres School,,I felt so much relief, because then we only had to focus on her getting better – and not worry about her falling behind in school.” Monica Garcia-Roach is the Lead Special Educator at the Mimbres School and teaches children of all ages who are seeking treatment at UNMCH.1

Raquela has created a wonderful bond with Monica as they set up lessons to continue Raquela’s schooling while receiving treatment. “I love attending the Mimbres School with Mrs. Monica. She is so involved and invested in our schoolwork, takes time to help her students understand their assignments, and adapts to meet us wherever our doctor appointments are,” she says.

Raquela's light and positivity have been an inspiration to her fellow students at the Mimbres School. She helps other students with their assignments and supports them when they go through rough periods with their illnesses. Raquela adds, “There is no judgment – everyone is on a journey of healing and learning.”

“The NMCUCA program is such a wonderful opportunity for kids, because it allows them to have a future that they may not have had before,” says Monica.

Raquela shares that she is incredibly excited to attend public school this coming year and reunite with friends. She will graduate soon and wants to study marine biology or cosmetology. The future is bright for Raquela, and her friends and family are excited to see her excel.


SLFCU employees, members, and community partners are committed to reaching our $200,000 fundraising goal in 2022, which will secure an accredited full-time teaching position at UNMCH. Please consider donating to help keep critically ill children on track toward graduation.

Donate $20 or more in any New Mexico branch2 and receive a Sandy the Lab stuffed animal. Sandys may be gifted to children undergoing treatment at UNMCH. Call us at 505.293.0500 or send a secure message in online or mobile banking. Monetary donations of any amount are gratefully accepted and are tax-deductible.

1The New Mexico Credit Unions Connected Academy (NMCUCA), a non-profit organization, is providing funding for an accredited full-time teacher at the Mimbres School – a state-accredited, year-round elementary and high school in a hospital setting. SLFCU has partnered with six other New Mexico credit unions to create the NMCUCA and build an endowment large enough to sustain the school for the next decade and beyond. Visit for more information.

2In California, proceeds from Sandy the Lab stuffed animal sales will benefit UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

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