Some people in this world are born attuned to the needs of others. Cora Burton is one of these people. Close to completing her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Services and a teaching certification, Cora is a light in her community and a master influencer of kindness, change, and advocacy for children with physical and mental impairments. With hopes of becoming a certified teacher for children undergoing learning and cognitive disabilities, Cora has made her mark in and out of the classroom as someone who challenges others to see beyond their perspectives, use their talents for the benefit of others, and seek the positive aspects of life that only come from God.
Finding the Joy in Serving
Growing up in a small town like Itasca, Texas, Cora was used to experiencing the simple things in life and was naturally in tune with what makes life worthwhile: good relationships, serving others, and finding God in the little things. Throughout her childhood and into high school, Cora knew her calling in life was to serve others and “bring glory to God’s name.” She worked with kids experiencing disabilities as a peer coach and special education tutor, and assisted in implementing training programs for high-functioning students who also wanted to work at Chick-fil-A just like her. Seeing the smiles on their faces and the growth they were achieving, Cora knew she wanted to do this for the rest of her life. She wanted to serve this part of her community.
“It was just amazing to see what these kids were capable of,” Cora said. “In many ways, sure, I was helping them, but in other ways, they were helping me. They were giving me the opportunity to pour into them and learn what it means to serve with a joyful heart.”
Fast forward three years, Cora was struck – with love. Meeting her husband Luke while working at Chick-fil-A, Cora knew life was about to change for the better. The only question now was how. After moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Cora began recognizing the only way she could move into her desired career of teaching and working with children was by getting an education.
After obtaining her associate’s degree in education from Navarro College, Cora found an open door into the world of teaching at Faith Academy through the Faith Academy Learning Connection of Neurodevelopment (F.A.L.C.O.N) program. Geared at helping students, adults, and community members become more successful learners, the program uses research and techniques to help train persons with lower cognitive abilities to connect the functions of their brains with their bodies. For Cora, this was the place she needed to be.
“What I loved about the program was it fit the mission and vision for how I also saw people with disabilities,” Cora expressed. “Many times, these students are cast out, and it’s through this program that I realized that my efforts, what I was doing at Chick-fil-A, actually do make a difference. This place was really where I saw that I could learn more ways of serving and helping people.”
Moving Closer to Her Calling
While working in the F.A.L.C.O.N. program, Cora knew she needed to further her education if she wanted to make a more positive impact as a director or instructor. Serious about her decision to advance her career, Cora began her search for a degree program. She wanted to pick an online school that would not only fit her schedule, but also incorporated her faith. It didn’t take long for Cora to remember a friend telling her about ACU and how they absolutely loved the environment the university provided. Without hesitation, Cora talked with an advisor and enrolled in the undergraduate Child and Family Services program. Cora absolutely loved her program. For her, picking ACU was the perfect stepping stone toward reaching her calling.
Looking to find a program that was going to allow her to help and meet kids where they needed to be met, Cora says she immediately felt right at home. With the added benefit of being able to express her faith, she knew ACU was where she was meant to be.
“I feel like my calling in life is to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me with,” Cora expresses. “And whether that’s kids in a classroom or teaching kids about integrity while I worked at Chick-fil-A, I wanted to make sure that I was getting the best resources and tools that I needed for that. ACU provided me with that.”
Today, Cora is just steps away from reaching her calling. Working on her teaching certification and subbing at various schools, Cora hopes to sign her first teaching contract within the next year. Looking to potentially work with students in an English as a second language (ESL) program, Cora is very excited to get hands-on experience as an independent instructor. And, most importantly, she is eager to showcase the love of Christ to her students.
“I may not even be the one who plants the seed. I may just be someone who’s just there just to sprinkle a little bit of water on it,” Cora replied. “But I know that just by being that example and emulating that mentality, it’s helped me share the word of God with a lot of individuals. And that’s what I’m called to do through my teaching.”
Hoping to share her optimism in every area of her life, Cora is eager to represent ACU and her community in the best way possible – leading others well and in love.
Do you want to find your calling like Cora Bruton? Visit our website or call 855-219-7300 to learn how you can step into a fulfilling, innovative future at ACU Online.