Toyota Family Learning: MES graduate selected to serve on State Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council

Jamahl Turner from MES with Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers

Jamahl Turner, a 28-year-old father, National Guard sergeant, and recent graduate of Toyota Family Learning at Milwaukee Environmental Sciences School (MES), was recently selected to serve on State Schools Superintendent Tony Evers’ Parent Advisory Council. Jamahl’s attendance at Evers’ annual address on the state of education in Wisconsin was recently noted by

A representative for Tony Evers had listened to Jamahl’s impassioned speech at the MES Toyota Family Learning graduation in June 2015 and recommended the MES team nominate him to sit on the state school superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council.

Jamahl is excited about the opportunity, especially the chance to make an impact on the lives of youth and pursue his love of public speaking. “I was nominated to do this because of my effort with Toyota Family Learning. My passion for being involved with my children led to me being a member of this council,” he said, noting that he is the council’s youngest member.

Jamahl spoke to how his involvement in Toyota Family Learning redeveloped his confidence to implement new activities and be more engaged in the education of his 3- and 5-year old boys.

“The Toyota Family Learning program was able to not only enhance my family core values but as well as compel and propel not only myself but as well as their mother and my kids to actually enhance our learning experience as far as everything you learn daily and in school.”

His story resonated with the audience, which included not only his fellow graduate families but also state and local leaders and executives from Toyota and NCFL.

“Learning about Jamahl’s newest leadership opportunity only furthers our confidence that Toyota Family Learning is opening doors and lifting up whole families,” NCFL President and Founder Sharon Darling said. “We are so proud of Jamahl and MES’ commitment to learning and helping families in the Milwaukee community succeed.”

Sallie Brown, a key member of Toyota Family Learning’s program team in Milwaukee, describes Jamahl as a leader by example. “He has always been involved with his kids,” she said, “but now it’s much more education-focused.”

Jamahl also enjoys music and spoken word poetry and together with friend who’s a classically trained pianist “has created some of the most melodic and beautiful hip-hop that’s come out of Milwaukee” as recently reviewed by Piet Levy of the Journal Sentinel.

Toyota Family Learning, a 6-year nationwide initiative led by NCFL, was created to address educational needs and provide opportunities for low-income and ethnically-diverse families to roll up their sleeves and build stronger communities. NCFL knows that when children and families solve community issues together, they are simultaneously learning and applying 21st century college and career readiness skills.