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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Dream BIG Class of 2014

Rowetta Roberson

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Rowetta Roberson

Rowetta Roberson, interim district manager at Mattress Firm, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in business from University of Phoenix.

Sharing the prescription for better sleep (and a better life)

As an interim district manager for Mattress Firm, Rowetta Roberson knows a thing or two about getting a good night’s sleep. Many of her customers first come to her with chronic sleep problems that end up affecting their job performances, their home lives and even their physical and mental well-being. “When I do my job, I don’t just ring up a piece of merchandise and send people on their way,” she says. “I write up a ‘prescription’ for a better life!”

Mattress Firm has done so much to change my life.
Rowetta Roberson

That ‘prescription’ was one she wrote for herself in 2007. As a mother of two boys, Rowetta wanted to give herself and her sons better resources and opportunities to succeed in life. That year, she left school to take a retail position with Mattress Firm and began diligently saving her salary. She soon socked away enough money to buy her first home, one in a great neighborhood and school district, far away from what she considered the perils of inner city life. “When I look at my sons flourish every day, I beam with pride knowing that I made the right decision.”

Her sons’ blossoming academic careers also inspired Rowetta to return to school. With her Dream BIG scholarship, she aims to pursue a University of Phoenix bachelor’s degree in business. She believes the degree will equip her with the tools she needs to eventually lead one of Mattress Firm's corporate divisions.

“Mattress Firm has done so much to change my life,” Rowetta says. “It was not until I came to work for this company that I felt any organization I had worked for had an appreciation for me. I will repay the favor by leading the charge in the continued success that those before me have created.”


The National Retail Federation collaborates with University of Phoenix to offer the Dream BIG Scholarship to people who work in retail. This year, 20 recipients received full-tuition scholarships to help them pursue their big dreams. Meet the Class of 2014 and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.