Rashad Turner, a 2008 Hamline alum, was featured in a TEDx Talk where he spoke about his struggles growing up and the opportunity he has to help urban youth experience the wilderness to teach them valuable life skills.
Before Turner even began kindergarten, his father had been killed and his mother had abandoned him and his brother. After his mother had left them, Turner’s grandmother raised him and his brother.
When describing his childhood Turner said, “I already felt kind of worthless, maybe a little hopeless. I really wasn’t quite sure who I was or what came before me. Often times I’ll get the questions asking how I made it through that stuff. What were the key things that got me through that struggle?”
He would answer by saying his grandmother, community, family, and teachers. Turner attributes his success to the lessons he learned from camping and the opportunities that those lesson led to, such as finishing high school and obtaining a bachelors degree in criminal justice from Hamline.
In the video below, Turner talks about his personal struggles and explains the organization, From the Hood to the Woods which is designed to teach youth the same important lessons camping taught him.