Being adopted at an early age did not hinder what Stacie Turner would ultimately become. After growing up with a family that encouraged her to obtain what she wanted in life, she set out to encourage teens with similar backgrounds and provide them with the same motivation she received.

“I have always looked at what was different in my life and it was the fact that I had a loving and supporting family that provided the best for me,” Turner said. “They provided the best home life, the best education and the nurturing that a number of foster children don’t have.”

Through her parents’ encouragement, Turner went on to graduate from Howard University and Harvard Business School. Thereafter, Turner began a career at Proctor and Gamble and BET Networks before becoming a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur. Now, she wants to give back.

“I decided that I wanted to target young women and make sure they’re exposed to things and opportunities that I was given as a child and that’s when I started Extra-Ordinary Life,” she said of the D.C.-based program that operates within the Pursuit of Dreams Foundation. The program provides intervention resources, motivation and guidance to teen girls.

“We’re a little different from what currently exists for foster children,” Turner said.

“Right now there are organizations that have life skills workshops and they try to fill in some of the holes, because do not have day-to-day parental guidance for them, but we’re different. We tried to provide them with experiences that impact their lives and really inspire them to hope and have a belief that they can overcome their circumstances and really achieve whatever it is that they have set for themselves.”

According to Turner, the program introduces teen girls to numerous people who have found success in various professions, hoping to promote inspiration.

“We provide what we call ‘extra-ordinary experiences’ where we interface our girls with people who have excelled in a variety of different fields and people who have defied the odds to be successful, because you can’t aspire to be somebody if you’ve never even seen what’s possible,” Turner said.

With Extra-Ordinary Life, Turner also seeks to expose teens to other cultures around the globe. The organization is currently gearing up for a trip to South Africa for the World Cup in July.

“We wanted to expose the girls to different people and places and let them have an experience with other orphan girls that are there in the country,” Turner said. “This will broaden their viewpoint of the world and hopefully inspire them to see that it’s not about just their circumstances here in Washington D.C., it is about them being able to do whatever it is what they desire no matter where they are.

“Our goal is to show them what they can be and intersect them with people who can help clear the path and create the opportunity for them to succeed,” Turner said.

“They will desire to be great and we can help get them on the path to get them there.”
 
For more information on Extra-Ordinary Life, visit www.extra-ordinarylife.org.

 

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor