MADISON (WKOW) -- Being a mother to even one child presents challenges and joys every day. But try being mom, and foster mom, to more than 200 children. Elishah Oesch introduces us to the this month's Jefferson Award Winner, Cora White.
Cora says, "I love life, I love living, I love people, I love good food, I love traveling." Cora White has a lot of love in her heart, for a lot of things. But none more so, than children.Cora has fostered more than 200 kids, in her house.
She says, "I've had African American, White kids, Latino kids, Indian kids, American Indian; I've had African kids, bi-racial kids, boys girls, you name it."
Cora, the self proclaimed, CEO of moms, has built her life around helping underprivileged kids reach their potential. She says, "I always told them, you will not grow up to be on the welfare roles, you will not grow up to be pregnant."
Cora's words have power. Just ask one of her former foster kids, Andrea Thundercloud. Andrea says, "when I first came here I was scared and it was intimidating. I was scared of being in a new place." Andrea says, when she first came under Cora's care, she was in a bad place. But through her encouragement and love she turned her life around. Andrea says, "she's taught me responsibility, caring, and trust."
But, she's also taught Andrea and others about life outside of Madison. Cora has personally taken and paid for trips all around the world with her foster kids. She took Andrea to Vegas, and others all around the world. Cora believes in giving kids a global picture, so she's taken kids to places like, Israel, and Egypt.
Cora says, "It teaches them that there's another group of people who are living a different lifestyle than you and them and it has turned so many kids around."
But now, it's time for a new turn in Cora's life. She is retiring from foster care to focus on other things. Cora says, "I just think it's time." Cora wants to start new projects, like a neighborhood center and a "new school going up in our neighborhood."
While Cora's role is changing, her focus remains the same. She will always be live in "doing something to help somebody and I think that's the important thing."