Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Earlier this week Justin and Kourtney Turner unveiled a remodeled learning center at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles. The project was the first in the education space for their Justin Turner Foundation.
“Back in August we did a backpack drive through the Dodgers and got to come in here, meet a lot of the kids, see how excited they were to have the opportunity to go back to in-person learning, which was obviously exciting for everyone,” Justin said.
“We were looking for more opportunities as a Foundation to get involved in the community and give back. We discovered this room needed a little bit of love. We couldn’t have been more excited to jump on board and help modernize it to create a space for the kids to feel comfortable in pursuing their dreams and everything they want to do after school. It all kind of worked out perfectly.”
The renovation brought new tables, chairs, lounge furniture, laptops, organizational items and a specifically-requested pop-a-shot inside the Brent’s Club room.
“We’re all so excited,” Variety Boys & Girls Club executive director Patricia Siqueiros said. “The room looks amazing. It looks like something you would see on a college campus. We’re so grateful to Justin and Kourtney Turner, and the Justin Turner Foundation for their involvement and investment in our club.”
The learning center serves approximately 100 students per day, providing homework assistance and workshops focused on substance abuse prevention, mental health, career exploration, academic success and mentoring services.
There’s also a new opportunity for the students to enjoy a more lighthearted moment.
“When we were here, I was asked for two things. One was more Dodgers, so we have Dodgers all around you guys,” Turner said. “And the other was a pop-a-shot, and I don’t know if you guys noticed that big glowing thing back there in the corner, but there is a pop-a-shot in here.”
Students cheered, expressed their gratitude for the couple’s contributions and presented them with a custom artwork of tiles.
“I think the Boys & Girls Club is a huge part of this community,” Kourtney said. “To be able to give these kids a safe place after school, where they feel loved and supported, where they able to get their work done and also help them envision their future and goals.
“To be able to provide a space here, where they have everything they need in this beautiful environment with computers, mentors and support staff, I feel a lot of times parents are working and kids don’t have someone at home that’s able to help them. So to be able to come here and feel comfortable in this space and confident to get where they want to go, is huge.”
Dodgers photographer collaborates with Justin Turner Foundation
Along with framed Dodgers jerseys of Turner and Tommy Lasorda, the remodeled learning center features one wall of photos taken by team photographer Jon SooHoo during his illustrious career in L.A. sports.
“These are some of my favorites, Kobe being in a lot of them and Vin,” SooHoo said. “Funny thing is I know kids will probably walk right past a few of them because they don’t know who the people are; like Vin shaking Bob Miller’s hand. But they’ll know Kobe, they’ll know Kersh, they’ll know J.T., Magic.
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of this. I hope the kids understand there’s been a lot of history in sports.”
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