Celebrating Sabrina Turner, professional school counselor

Published 6:04 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

John Yeates Middle School Professional School Counselor Sabrina Turner is being honored for her work by the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation at their ninth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Turner is a school counselor who has provided emotional and academic support to JYMS students, parents, teachers and staff for 16 years. In the past four years, Turner has facilitated JYMS’ Ladies of Distinction organization, which focuses on helping female students work through social issues and better enriching their lives.

Along with being a tutor for students with English as their second language and supporting her church’s community outreach programs, Turner serves on the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors where she has helped raise scholarship funds for Suffolk Public School students since 2013.


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Prior to the ceremony, Turner had a chance to talk about how she was inspired to help people.

“When I was younger, I always had family that did mentoring outreaches for young people, and with the journey of always being involved in some type of mentoring program for people in the community, I found and loved my own self that I wanted to be able to help people,” she said. “Especially young people, and I was young at that time.”

Prior to becoming a counselor, Turner served as a Portsmouth teacher. After teaching for a few years, she realized that her dream was beyond the classroom setting and wanted to provide help to students as a professional counselor.

“The journey that I took was to be a teacher first and then move forward to finding ways that I could work with students and help them academically, socially, emotionally, because there is a great need for young people to know where they’re going,” Turner said.

She explained that her passion for helping young people reach their full potential helped set forth her path to becoming a counselor.

“I wanted to be able to be a voice and have a place for young people that did not know where they wanted to go and I just saw that it was a greater need for students that needed support on how they can maneuver through life,” Turner said.

Turner reflected on what keeps her going through the challenging days.

“I stop working and I do what I am passionate about, and I’m passionate about helping people and helping them be better,” Turner said.

“I allow my passion to guide me through the tough times, the struggles, the challenges that we all face, the students face,” she said. “And mainly in education, we get to see a snapshot of the future, because we work with students.”

Turner said just seeing them go through different things, from griefing through being stressed about tests.

“If only people could see the view that I see from working in education,” she said.”You get to see what the future could look like and how you can make an impact on the future and the future leaders of tomorrow.”

The Day of Service event will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 16 at the River Stone Chophouse, located at 8032 Harbour View Blvd. Tickets are $60 per person with $480 per table (8 tickets). Brunch is included with each ticket.