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Student Spotlight: Liz Zamudio

Liz Zamudio sees her role as more than just a mom or student. In fact, she sees herself as an example for others to follow. Whether she’s raising her family, tutoring her kids, battling cancer, or communicating with her professors to complete her degree on-time, Liz is a testament of what it means to be someone who is hardworking, diligent, kind and – above all else –  a humble human being. On the road to completing her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Liz is on track to graduate with flying colors with the long-term goal of becoming a professor. And while she continues to balance life and the struggles she has endured, one thing is for certain, Liz is ready and eager to prove to herself that she can do it. All while giving glory and honor to the Lord. 

Finding Her Calling Through Her Son

Enjoying the sunny days of Orlando, Florida, Liz was your typical happy girl. Whether she was spending time with her family or singing for her church, Liz always found a way to be content with where she was. Growing up, education was somewhat fluid. Liz was encouraged to go to school but it wasn’t a requirement. This layer of flexibility and freedom allowed her to go to college with little to no pressure. Graduating with an undergraduate degree in theological studies, Liz remembers how excited her parents were to see her walk the stage. 

“My parents just wanted me to do something with my life,” Liz said. “They didn’t care, per say, what I was going to do but I needed to do something meaningful in my life. And since I was drawn to business and organizations, I decided to just complete my degree with the goal of going into ministry. I think that was a way to satisfy their dream and mine at the same time.” 

As life continued on, Liz started going through several changes including getting married and being offered worship leader positions in churches in Plano, Texas – a move she never thought about before. And yet, after thoughtful prayer and mediation, Liz felt the tug in her heart to take a job offer. Trading sandy beaches for cowboy boots, Liz relocated her family to Plano and put down roots where she thought her family would be able to thrive. 

“I wanted to be in a place where my family would be able to be safe and could ride their bikes with the neighborhood kids,” Liz expressed. “And so, when we moved here, we didn’t want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city. I didn’t know what other opportunities we were going to have, so I wanted to make sure we picked the right choice from the beginning.” 

As time went on, Liz started having children of her own but noticed something unusual. Her son was non-verbal, causing concern for her and husband. New to the city and still becoming acclimated to their new life, Liz quickly learned that her son’s treatments would not be covered by medical insurance. Liz would have to figure out a way to help her son on her own and that was exactly what she was going to do. Recalling a conversation with her husband, Liz proclaimed, “we are going to get this little boy to talk.” After searching profusely different methods and techniques for nonverbal kids, Liz started to notice how much she was enjoying helping her own son become more verbal. It wasn’t soon after that Liz decided that maybe she could do this as a career, too. 

“This wasn’t something I was looking for specifically,” Liz remarked. “In fact, I was more focused on my son. But, had it not been for his condition, I don’t think my interest in this field would have been sparked.” 

Becoming an Online Wildcat

When Liz decided she wanted to go to school, she was determined to find a place where she could balance being a homeschool teacher, student, wife and mother. Looking for various online programs that would fit her interest in communication disorders and assessments, it didn’t take long for Liz to find ACU Online. To her, the flexibility of the program and accessibility to complete assignments from the comfort of her own home was the biggest selling point. Unlike other programs, Liz was allowed to freely incorporate classroom time with homeschool time. In many ways, she was ‘in school’ just like her kids – a neat idea she never thought would be possible. 

Within the next few months, Liz was contacted, enrolled, and started classes in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program with fellow parents, working adults, and professionals from across the state. And while she was taking classes from her quaint, country home, Liz found community within her cohort. 

“It’s just amazing to see how many other people there are in the program who also want to make a difference,” Liz said. “I’ve met many other parents who are looking for ways to become better equipped like me. I find myself doing homework sometimes at 2 o’clock in the morning, studying, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one.” 

Today, Liz acknowledges this degree is not her first rodeo. But, for some reason, this moment in life feels different, it feels new. And while she has undergone several life changes since her initial start of the program, including being diagnosed with cancer in August 2023, Liz has seen the goodness that comes from taking every day as it comes. Having almost completed her second bachelor’s degree, Liz feels very fortunate to be close to finishing this dream. Deeply invested in serving children, like her son and others, Liz is excited to see what else is in store for her. Aiming to continue her education into a master’s program and beyond, it’s clear that Liz is eager to keep pushing forward. With the added support of her professors, family and friends, Liz is on a mission to stick with the program and end the journey on a high note. 

Are you interested in learning more about our online programs? Visit our website to schedule a call today! 

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