I'm a senior at Desert Vista High School. I've always wanted to become a teacher, so I worked hard to earn the Arizona Board of Regents Scholarship (or AIMS Scholarship) to avoid enormous long-term debt with only a modest salary.

The state Legislature is considering a bill (HB 2675) that will put an $8,000 burden on the hardworking students who have earned scholarships.

I'm relying on the AIMS Scholarship I've earned. A full-tuition scholarship is the only way I can justify remaining and teaching in Arizona, when I've been offered $20,000 scholarships in other states.

Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College (where I hope to attend this fall) often requires students to live on campus.

The AIMS Scholarship already will not cover my $44,000 housing cost over four years. Families will have to come up with an additional $8,000 over four years if HB 2675 passes. With two siblings and a post-recession college savings account, this would force me to explore my other options.

HB 2675 would work against the comeback that Gov. Jan Brewer says we have made. Crippling bright students and forcing them to look elsewhere for education and work will stifle Arizona's growth. We need more talented people remaining and working here, especially those interested in service jobs with modest salaries. We can't achieve this by pushing students away.

Please tell your legislators that failing HB 2675 will help me, and many other students, obtain an education so that we can make Arizona's future brighter.

Katie Giel

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