Hometown: Columbus, OH
high school: Eastmoor Academy
college: Duke University
MAJOR: Cultural Anthropology
Leslie Turner has never let her circumstances dictate her future. At the tender age of five, Leslie’s father was incarcerated, leaving her to be raised by an uneducated, single-parent of four. Her mother never earned an income that would allow her family to live above the poverty line. To make matters worse, when Leslie’s father was eventually released after serving a twelve year prison sentence, he never sought a relationship with her as he had sporadically promised over the years. Leslie soon realized that due to her family’s lack of socioeconomic resources that she needed to work to provide for many of her needs and relieve her mother from the burden of the strong arms of poverty. It was two years ago that Leslie applied to Kingdom of Bounce and she is now a manager.
Leslie has always had a natural tendency for leadership and service to others. She has brought about change in her home by encouraging and supporting her mother’s decision to flee an abusive relationship. She also serves as a second parent to her younger sisters while her mother works long hours. Leslie’s leadership has extended well beyond her home to her involvement with her school and community.
One of Leslie’s most scholarly achievements was when she became president of The Principal’s Ladies Club, an elite organization of scholarly young women. As president of the Eastmoor Academy International Club, an Ohio Graduation Test tutor, and a school mentor, she has been able to inspire others and continually build her skills as a leader. Furthermore, Leslie is an avid volunteer vision screener at the Physician’s Free Clinic and a Youth Advisory Council member with the Columbus Medical Association Foundation. Leslie has also chaired two major service projects: “Give a Teen a Hug,” an event that collected hygiene products and winter apparel for homeless teens in Central Ohio and the “Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage Clothing Drive,” which collected clothes and shoes from students and faculty to send to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. On her own, Leslie created “Coloring Care for Kids,” which provides disadvantaged, homeless children with a series of activity books.
Aside from being an astute student with an unweighted 4.0 grade point average, this past summer she conducted research at the renowned Nationwide Children’s Hospital working as a research assistant on a project that created a vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, Leslie is a Discus Awards Finalist, Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award recipient, The President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient, Columbus Rotary Service Above Self Award recipient, Ventures Scholar, and has received a plethora of accolades for her commitment to excellence.
Despite a tumultuous upbringing, Leslie has remained optimistic about her future. She plans to become a cardiologist and international philanthropist with “Doctors Without Borders.” Leslie’s appreciation for diversity has allowed her to become a more cultured individual. Leslie is an exemplar of not only one who beats the odds, but an example of what is possible when one decides to excel beyond what is expected.