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Our Programs

The Turner 12 program is designed to nurture, expose and equip students with the skills, knowledge and support needed to overcome the pull from their current environment to drop out of school, and encourage each to strongly consider life as a college graduate. The program consists of three parts:

1. We provide educational opportunities that will ensure higher learning experiences.

2. We encourage community involvement that will foster the holistic development of students as they grow to their fullest potential.

3. We provide a six-week voluntary personal development and enrichment program to help develop leadership skills.

The Turner 12 will engage in programs during the course of a year that will cause a change in the mindset of the student and create a zeal for higher learning. It is believed that a structure that is consistent and appealing to the young energetic mind will attract and maintain the interest level of the students involved. We propose that students take advantage of opportunities that will increase their awareness and knowledge of life. The Ultimate goal of each Turner 12 student is to become a first generation college graduate. Therefore, involvement in the following activities is a requirement and will assure great success of each student.

Academic Enrichment

The Problem: According to the Huffington Post, 4 in 10 high school graduates are not adequately prepared for the course load that awaits them, and are thus forced into remedial classes when they start college.

The Solution: “In order to improve college graduation rates, students must be prepared to compete successfully on a global level. To do this we must close the achievement gap ensuring students are ready for college and careers when they graduate.” (Dr. John B. King, Jr., Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education for New York’s State Board of Regents)

Students participate in academic enrichment activities, which provide them with extra support and preparation for academic success. Additionally, students participate in field trips that expose them to culture, diversity and higher learning experiences, which help students develop an appreciation for others and a desire to become college graduates.

Academic enrichment activities consists of the following:
Achieving academic excellence. In order to help students succeed academically and graduate from college, it is essential that all students maintain a semester (GPA of 85 percent or better in middle school and high school and a 2.5 or better in college.

Academic Enrichment Sessions help to ensure students are performing at or above grade level and helps to position them for academic success. Academic Enrichment Sessions combine college preparation skills with tutoring in their current classes to ensure the optimal grades are obtained and that students become familiar with what is expected of them in a college setting. Students are provided specialized training in a classroom setting to assist them. Academic Enrichment Sessions utilize time to reinforce learning in daily academic routine, as well as provide various exercises that promote holistic development and higher order thinking skills.

Test prep workshops help to prepare students for success on national standardized tests such as the PSAT, SAT and SAT, which in turn increases student’s opportunities for scholarship money and for entrance into their desired college. Test preparation activities consist of small groups, self-paced study and one-on-one support.

College Visits - Each year during the spring break week, students will visit and experience life both on and off re-selected college campuses. We believe that exposure to various institutions will entice and stimulate students to focus and strive toward the goal of attending college in the future.

Students visit Tarleton State University in Stephenville Texas during their Spring Break College Tour.

Culture and The Arts – Exposure to and participation with the arts is critical to student’s academic, social and emotional success. As part of our culture and arts awareness, students participate in field trips and workshops.

The students learned about the orchestra from Morton Meyerson during their visit to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s production of Divine Dvorak.

Students sample some of Cast Your Bread Catering creations during a visit from owner, Regina Hightower.

College Tours

Turner 12 Students hear from Class of 2011 and current student Jeniece Madison during their Spring Break College Tour at the University of Texas at Arlington.

It is our desire to expose our students to what life as a college student can be like and the benefits that will follow as a result of a sound college education in their adult lives. Each year during Spring Break, students will visit and experience life on pre-selected college campuses and gain valuable personal interaction with faculty, staff and students on a higher level. In most cases, our college-bound hopefuls have never stepped foot on a college campus. They are exposed to dorm life, college professors and classrooms to help generate interest in higher learning.

Community Involvement

Turner 12 participates in St. Phillips School and Community Center's Valentine's Day party, handing out candy to kids and facilitating games in the community.

As agents of change in the community, students voluntarily participate in opportunities that make a difference in the community, demonstrate good citizenship, peace and goodwill to neighbors both inside and outside their community.

Community involvement activities include, but are not limited to providing Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets to needy families, rebuilding homes in Rosarito, Mexico and visiting local nursing homes.

Change Community Service picture to #0973- The students bring Valentine’s cheer to patients at Scottish Rite Hospital.

Family Share

Students and volunteers are captivated by the family share small group discussion

Family Share is a part of the Turner 12 mentor support and involvement experience. It allows volunteers, mentors and students to have fun and learn in a relaxed, yet fun atmosphere. It is designed to foster the development of long lasting friendships and relationships that will last a life-time.

During Family Share, students, mentors, and volunteers discuss our monthly theme and various life topics that our students deal with on a daily basis. Other benefits of Family Share include guest speakers, breakout sessions, food and games in an open and safe environment. Additionally, personal, academic and professional relationship bonding is encouraged of the attendees to aid our students in achieving their goals both inside and outside the classroom. Family Share meetings take place during the second Sunday of the month from September through May.

Parent Meetings

Parent Meetings are critical to the success of the organization. The purpose of the parent meeting is to celebrate academic success, involve and inform parents of their child’s activities and experiences as part of the Turner 12 and inspire and motivate both students and parents.

We believe that each student can succeed. Success requires a champion mindset: determination, commitment and sacrifice. Each grading period, our Academic Olympians are recognized and rewarded for their academic achievements.

We are only as strong and effective as our village. Partnership with our parents is a must. Involving parents in celebrating their child’s academic success and keeping them informed of their child’s activities within Turner 12 helps them stay actively connected with their child and provides motivation for the students knowing they have a strong system of support behind them.

Community leaders and professionals are invited to serve as motivational speakers to inspire, motivate and encourage students and parents along their journey to success. Speaker presentations include the following: sharing details about their career, tips for success and teachable point of view using monthly enrichment themes.

Kids Across America

During each summer, students will share in a meaningful experience with other young people attempting to create positive change during a weeklong session at Kids Across America camp, affectionately called KAA, in Branson, Missouri. An event made possible through generous donations from one of the friends of the Turner 12. The camp is a life-changing experience that promotes camaraderie, instills self confidence, and develops courage in a fun and safe Christian environment.

Reach Back Mentoring Program

The Turner 12 mentoring program consists of three components: peer, personal and professional. The goal of Reach Back is to help students learn from caring individuals who can guide, nurture and motivate students as result of their life or career experiences. Additionally, students will acquire and improve necessary skills for them to be academically and holistically successful.

Peer mentors are Turner 12 students who are currently in college or alumni students. Peer mentors help our previous or newest Turner 12 students by sharing the experiences in the Turner 12 program and about college life. Peer mentors communicate with their mentees twice per month.

Personal mentors are volunteers who have a passion for working with youth and who have a teachable point of view that can be used to develop, encourage and motivate. Personal mentors meet with their mentees at least once a month face-to-face and communicate by phone, e-mail or text at least twice per month.

Professional mentors are individuals that currently work in the career interest of our students and are open to students spending time observing them in their work environment. Students meet with professional mentors at least twice per year, but maintain a dialogue throughout the year.

Holistic Development Workshops

Holistic Development workshops helps to nurture and develop the whole child by building character, teaching knowledge of self, communication and leadership skills, as well as the development of social and life skills.

Turner 12's high school girls attend The Pearls of Great Price workshop, tackling topics and issues that are relevant to every young woman today.

Students attend Jill of All Trades seminar aimed at preparing girls to become responsible young women.

Summer of Choice

Summer of Choice is a six-week voluntary personal development and enrichment program that helps to close the academic achievement gap and helps to ensure students are ready for college and careers upon high school graduation. The program also keeps students involved and motivated academically during the summer.

The Summer of Choice program began over 26 years ago to help prevent students from dropping out of school as they left junior high and made the transition to high school. Since inception, more than 1000 students have been influenced and impacted by the many community leaders and volunteers who have stepped up to make a lasting difference through the Summer of Choice program.

The program keeps students involved and motivated during the summer through daily interactive workshops and enrichment activities focused on developing student’s skills in communication, leadership, reading, writing and math. Students celebrate their success and showcase their skills at the end of the program Summer of Choice Banquet.

Wednesday Mixer Leadership Program

Wayne McCollough, the President of Benchmark Private Wealth Management, shared lessons of persistency during a Wednesday Mixer session.

The Wednesday Mixer is a Leadership forum that takes place on designated Wednesday’s during the student’s lunch hour, where local professionals share their career experiences and teachable points of view about the monthly enrichment themes and share strategies for developing important leadership competencies.

Do you have a success story or tips of success to share with youth? Do you have a passion for youth and helping them achieve their educational, career and leadership goals? If so, we’re looking for you. Contact Renee Jackson-Smith at to sign up to be a Forum Leader.

“Encouragement is the fuel that powers our efforts to engage, educate, and equip. Nothing does more to lubricate the rough spots than a good dose of encouragement.” - Tony Dungy

Collegiate Integration and Completion

Students receive support in all phases of their collegiate journey to becoming college graduates. We assist students with transitioning from high school to integration in their college campuses by identifying key resources, providing assistance with degree and career plan development, monitoring academic excellence to ensure GPA goals are achieved and provide workshops to address student’s emotional, academic, personal and career development.

Students participate in a workshop on communication skills and conflict resolution.

Turner 12's own Damian Miklojachak introduces students to web design and development during a Summer Collegiate Workshop.