In recent weeks, Groundwork Ohio has published a “Get to Know Groundwork” series, spotlighting members of our amazing team! This week, we’re getting to know Cherrelle Turner, Director of Groundwork Ohio's Center for Family Voice. Cherrelle joined Groundwork Ohio in May 2022.
Cherrelle Turner is the Director of the Center for Family Voice at Groundwork Ohio. As Director of the Center for Family Voice, Cherrelle leads the Center’s work to elevate the voices of families with young children in early childhood policy and advocacy to achieve programmatic, policy, and practice changes at local, regional, and state levels.
Prior to joining Groundwork Ohio, Cherrelle worked as a Foster America Fellow with Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, as a non-profit development leader, and as an elementary school Principal. Centering the advancement of young people, families, and communities has remained the primary goal of Cherrelle’s efforts and she is now excited to continue serving the families of her home state as Director of Groundwork Ohio’s Center for Family Voice. Check out our Q&A with Cherrelle to learn more about why she’s a passionate advocate for young children and families in Ohio!
Q: What drew you to early childhood policy research and advocacy? Tell us more about your “why”!
A: Years and years ago, my first job after graduating with my bachelor’s degree was a teaching job as an early childhood special education teacher. Aside from the path of my major, I wanted a role where I felt as if my work would be meaningful for people like myself. It was then that I began to realize the transformative power of positive environments and intentional adults in the lives of children. I committed to continuous learning so that I could be one of those intentional adults working hard to make the world a better place for young people who quickly become people who are not as young. I fought to improve outcomes for young people, went back to school a few times in strides to serve well, lived a little, hurt, and learned a lot. Accordingly, I aspire for the continued advancement of early childhood policy research and advocacy supporting mechanisms for enhancing the livelihoods and environments of families so that we may live and not die, excel, and not flounder during the few short years that we have together on this planet.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received or a lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you in this work?
A: The best advice I’ve received hasn’t been advice at all. Examples have been both my teachers and my deterrents.
Q: Groundwork Ohio’s word for 2022 is ELEVATE. What’s your word for 2022?
A: I’ll keep things consistent, let’s Elevate.
Q: When you aren’t advocating on behalf of young children and families, what do you enjoy doing?
A: I enjoy jogging, spending time with my furry friend Snoopy, cooking, burying myself in a book for a few minutes, exploring new things to do or make, finding adornments and continuing my studies.
Q: Describe a scene from your vision of the future for Ohio’s youngest children and their caregivers.
A: What I am describing is less of a scene and more of an outcome: Caregivers are alleviated of life detracting stressors and can access the resources needed to thrive while elevating the babies as they become our leaders who do well.