Former state senator Nina Turner reflects on her education journey
March 30, 2017
If you’re an Ohioan who followed the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, you have probably heard Nina Turner speak on more than one occasion.
The former state senator representing Ohio’s 25th District from 2008 to 2014, Turner was one of Sanders’ most vocal supporters during his bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, which eventually went to Hillary Clinton.
Though Turner has built a successful political career that has lasted for more than 20 years, politics tells only part of her story. Turner is also a tenured assistant professor of history at Cuyahoga Community College, teaching courses that include African-American history, African-American women’s history, American history and women’s studies.
She enjoys utilizing her teaching career to relate to young people – in particular, those who came from the same background and experienced many of the same challenges Turner did as a young adult.
In a Diverse magazine article, Turner recently reflected on her journey, from a graduate of Cleveland’s John F. Kennedy High School working minimum-wage jobs to help her mother pay the bills, to an overwhelmed first-year student at Tri-C who briefly dropped out. Spurred by the encouragement of her mother, she re-enrolled at Tri-C, paving the way for a chance encounter with a professor that ultimately changed her academic outlook, and changed her life.