Some might remember Emma Turner as a child, when during the Fourth of July concert at Palisades High, she was found by the stage because her father Keith had volunteered to organize the concert. His civic involvement, despite his demanding job as a lawyer, did not go unnoticed by his daughter.
Now Emma is working in Arusha, Tanzania, at Lifted Strong, an organization that empowers women who are HIV positive.
“Most of these women have been sexually abused and have gone through things that are unimaginable,” Turner said in an email to Circling the News. “I hate asking for money, but this organization needs our help to continue classes that help empower women who have overcome difficult situations.
“Lifted Strong provides classes that help women become financially sustainable. We teach business, health and other classes,” Turner continued. “Give our website a read through and click to support us in Tanzania; five dollars goes a long way! Skip the Starbucks today and donate to Lifted Strong to empower women.”
Turner, who attended New Roads high school, graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles with a degree in social work.
Keith Turner told CTN that his daughter’s volunteering started with the Best Buddies program at Paul Revere Middle School (aiding kids with special needs).
During her senior year at New Roads, Turner was the president of Vista Inspired Teens, an organization that Pacific Palisades resident Susan Corwin started for teens (Corwin won a local Sparkplug Award for her effort). The teens work at Vista Del Mar and coordinate fundraising luncheons and special events.
After graduating from high school, Turner spent a month at Gap Medics, a hospital in Tanzania. From there, she volunteered at orphanages in Soweto, South Africa.
Her dad told Circling the News last week, “I believe she was drawn back there [after college] because the need and appreciation in Africa is overwhelming.”
She wrote, “It’s mostly the warmth of the people of Africa. Despite having nothing, they give so much back to you. They also show so much love. It’s not the need. I’m not a white savior, I’m drawn in because they give me more than I give them.”
Turner plans to attend graduate school at Cal State Northridge in public health.
“Wealth, if you use it, comes to an end: Learning, if you use it, increases.”
– Swahili Proverb –