CONWAY, AR -- University of Central Arkansas President Tom Courtway led a moment of silence to pay respects to the students and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
As fresh details emerge about the gunman, the graduates who plan to become teachers say the shooting doesn't steer them away from the classroom.
"I want to be a positive influence on the community, and young people who are our future," said Desmond Wilcox.
Wilcox said changing professions right now would be detouring from a lifelong dream. Stanley Williams, another future teacher, said he has to go to the classroom so he can inspire students just like his teachers inspired him.
"Those are innocent children. They weren't doing anything but trying to begin their education," Williams said.
Perhaps the heroes in the tragedy are the teachers who shielded their students in corners to protect them for the gunman. To the future educators, that's a teacher's job.
"I would have protected those students like they were my own children," Wilcox said.
They would have done the same thing.
"When you go into a job, you go into it wholeheartedly, especially when it's with children," Williams said.