Hearing a church sermon about giving back to the community touched Loretta Burns’ heart when she heard it almost 20 years ago. She retired early from her job as an air traffic controller for the federal government and, in 2006, created AB Christian Learning Center in eastern Fort Worth. The nonprofit provides free after-school and summer learning programs to kids, many from struggling families. The children are picked up after school and taken to safe places for reading and cultural enrichment. Loretta’s programs are established at a handful of places in the Morningside and Stop Six areas and show how books can broaden the kids’ worldviews and increase their abilities in the classroom. The program isn’t glorified babysitting. The kids are expected to follow a curriculum, and their parents or caregivers must attend meetings. Most do so gladly. Loretta’s efforts earned her a prestigious accolade last year. The Texas Board of Education’s Heroes for Children Award is given to volunteers who make big impacts on student learning. Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said school officials are inspired by Loretta’s leadership. As a child, Loretta was raised by a single mom with eight kids in the housing projects of Tampa, Florida. The hard times weren’t forgotten. Loretta received help attending college and experienced first-hand how education opens doors to financial independence. She is trying to open similar doors for others and has seen many of her former students go on to great successes. Thanks for changing the lives of so many people, Loretta!