Cornelius Burns

When One Door Closes, Find the Key to Another – To say that Cornelius Burns is a go-getter would be considered a gross understatement. Born premature at just two pounds and seven ounces, and with only about 60% of African Americans graduating from college in the U.S., the odds were stacked against him from the very beginning. “I never wanted to be a part of that statistic,” he says.

Cornelius ended up blossoming into a healthy, five-foot eleven frame and was called to his high school’s varsity football team when he was just a sophomore. Unexpectedly, his football career was cut short. “I broke my tibia bone and lost everything,” he says. “I lost all my full-tuition scholarships – to Harvard, Stanford, TCU (Texas Christian University), and some others.” Nevertheless, he was determined to find another way to fund his future education.

After completing eight essays, Cornelius was one of the 1,000 individuals to be selected from 25,000 U.S. applicants for the Bill Gates Scholarship. The scholarship grants him full-tuition at any U.S. college all the way up through a doctorate degree. “I knew that if I didn’t go to college, everything I wanted would vanish,” he says. “Thank God I have a brain.”

Opportunity Comes Knocking
Cornelius is now a senior in his third year of school at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), where women make up 90% of the school population. “I came here because it’s ranked the number one school in Texas for physical therapy. I was sure I was going to be a physical therapist, especially after having experienced it first-hand after I broke my leg,” he explains. “But when I saw the AMWAYTM opportunity things changed.

“I realized that in being a physical therapist I would be limited to helping only the people who came to me. I always knew I wanted to do something bigger; I just never knew how (to do it).”

At age 19, Cornelius and his then-girlfriend, who is now his wife as of October 15, 2011, started up an AMWAY business together. When asked how he finds the time to build a business while attending school full-time he says, “I learned how to manage time at an early age. Even if it’s inconvenient I make time.

“This opportunity is so important. It’s not only dealing with my life –  it’s helping other people to succeed, and I just love people. They’ll give up on me before I give up on them.”

From Big to Bigger
From selling knives and working in construction to becoming an Amway IBO, Cornelius is on his way to achieving his goal of becoming a millionaire by age 30. “When I have children I don’t want to have to tell them, ‘I can’t afford it’. I want to be able to make good decisions without basing them on money,” he shares. “As a man it’ll great to be able to stay home and be with my wife and kids.”

Cornelius plans to attend graduate school to obtain a doctorate degree in public health. He is set to soon reach the 1000 PIN level, and he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

“I want to make sure my future is bigger than my past,” he says.


  • Cornelius, I am so proud of you and definitely looking forward to our future successes! Diamond here we come!!!!!

  • Son i am very proud of you. I knew when God gave me Chris and you, you to was going to be Great leaders for God. Keep up the Great work and remember i am very proud of you. Love Daddy

  • Ed & Karen Grosboll

    Cornelius – we’re so excited to have everyone see your handsome face and read your inspirational story. You and Pearl are glowing in the photos, and also in “real life.” Thank you Amway for giving Cornelius to platform to share some of his background and the dreams that they will be able to accomplish as Amway IBOs. Serve your team; achieve your dream. Love from some of your proud upline, Ed & Karen

  • Ed & Karen Grosboll

    Cornelius – what a joy to see your gorgeous smile and hear some of your inspiring story. Both you and Pealr are glowing “in real life” and we salute you for your tenacity in looking for the open doors for your future. Thanks to Amway for giving you this special platform to share & inspire all of us, not just young IBOs! Serve your team; achieve your dream – love from two of your proud upline, Ed & Karen

  • Mark & Glynis Cozza

    Cornelius and Pearl!
    Yeehawww! Look at you two! From the first time we met you at FED 2010, we knew that there was something very special about you! And then to meet you, Pearl! Well, let’s say, y’all are a powerful team, a force with which to be reckoned, with hearts as big as that great state where y’all reside! So honored to know y’all, to be your crossline friends, and to be sharing the journey! We are cheering for you!!
    Your Peter Island Pals – Mark and Glynis
    Serve your Team; Achieve your Dream!!

  • Mark & Glynis Cozza

    Yeehawww! Cornelius, we knew there was something special about you when we first met at FED 2010. And having met you, Pearl, at FED 2011! Well, let’s just say that y’all are an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, a dynamic duo, with hearts the size of that great state where y’all live! Honored to know such amazing folks as yourselves! We are cheering for y’all!
    Your Peter Island Pals – Mark and Glynis
    Serve Your Team! Achieve Your Dream!!

  • Thank you all very much for your support. Life is merly what you make out of it, and Pearl and I are determined to make the best life we can possibly have. Thanks to the Amway opportunity, we have meet wonderful people who are committed to helping others succeed in all walks of life. Pearl and I love all of you very much (upline and downline), this is only the beginning of what God is going to do for our team. Serve your Team: Achieve Your DREAM!!!

    Cornelius and Pearl

  • Congratulations WWDB winners! Amazing story of hard work in spite of life’s difficulty and the blessing of being rewarded with a full scholarship. Wow!

    Looking forward to seeing you at the top!

  • David & Briana Jemison

    Cornelius and Pearl,
    What a blessing you are to us! Pearl, from our first conversation and the fact that you were willing to put it all out there, We knew that you were a champion! Thanks for having the guts to call your (boyfriend at the time) Husband and get him to set up an appointment. Your lives will be forever changed! You have motivated Briana and I to continue pursuing our dreams. Keep impacting lives all over the world!! We love you both tremendously!! SO PROUD!!!

  • Demica Pennelll

    Cornelius, you are something special. I am proud to know you and to have been able to witness the calling on your life unfold these passed 5years. You are one that puts his words into action and believe that goals or reached with faith, love and patience. Pearl, how beautiful you are inside and out . Together I know that God will continue to open doors for you and thank you both for the love of healing that you want to share with the world. Be blessed and the best is yet to come.

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