Rebecca “Becca” Turner just graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate, yet, without a traditional commencement. Becca started attending USCU at age 14 through the Scholars Academy program, which provides top high school students an opportunity to take college courses and advanced high school classes on the university campus. In the following six years Becca earned her high school diploma and college degree. She looked forward to that final moment when her family could watch her walking through the lawn in graduation cap and gown. But then Coronavirus stole her ceremony.
Becca’s family threw her a party to celebrate this turning point of her life. The pandemic has opened her eyes to the struggles of people who have limited resources in our society, especially the children of essential workers. She feels compelled to study education policy in the future, so that she can help change the society and people’s lives. Currently Becca is working on community support projects that help teenagers in isolation and encourage them to share their voices. Becca is part of the community that comes together in an unprecedented time, and she is one of the 2020 graduates who step into the future with more purpose, determination and vision.