Highlands Blog

Highlands Alum: Emma Turner

So, what's the 2016-2017 year like?
Busy, exciting, and crazy. Senior year is half about your current classes and half about all of the essays, forms, tours, and recommendations for college.  I also spent a lot of time in the fall on the election. I imagine this spring will be even busier, preparing for graduation, visiting colleges, and interviewing for scholarships. 
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were at Highlands?
I think I changed career dreams a lot during my time at Highlands- actress, doctor, lawyer, at one point I wanted to be a personal organizer. By middle school, I wanted to work in politics. Mr. Garrett was really influential in this and encouraged me to think about coming back to Birmingham to work in public service.
And now?
After five years that is still what I hope to do. I have been involved in High School Democrats of America since 9th grade and this year I’m the National Programs Director. It’s really amazing how much you can do even as a teenager. I am really grateful to Highlands for helping me find my passion so early. It has allowed me to get involved and make real change on issues that I care about while I am still in high school.
What is one prominent thing that you took away from your Highlands experience? Why?
Highlands prepared me for high school, especially academically. I walked into high school having the skills that I needed. I knew how to write a paper, study for a big test, and complete a research project, but more than that Highlands instilled a deep love of learning in me. It taught me the importance and value of education.
I also think Highlands gave me confidence. Staying for eighth grade and being able to act as a leader when I was only 13 years old was really important in becoming more secure in who I was.
What do you look forward to academically or professionally?
As a senior, especially as April 1st approaches, I’m looking at where I will go to college.  I have applied early to a few schools.  So far, I have been accepted to Georgetown University, University of Virginia, Emory University, and Boston College. I have some other applications out and am waiting to hear back from every school before I make any final decisions.
After college, I want to work in DC for a couple years and then return to Alabama.
What advice would you give to Highlands students?
Enjoy every moment that you are at Highlands, value your friends, and value your teachers. It’s a place where it’s OK to be who you really are – most kids don’t have that luxury – especially in middle school. 
What is one thing we might not know about you?
I love baking and wanted a cake pop business in middle school. I used to love to make all the cupcakes and baked goods for the middle school dances and parties. 
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.