Abigail Turner

Abigail Turner

2021 Amazing Kids - Estacada News - Estacada
Age: 18
School: Estacada High School
Hometown: Estacada, Or
Why she is Amazing: Turner has completed a variety of community service projects and plans to spend her career helping others.

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Between the Clackamas County wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been an unprecedented year in Estacada, but Abigail Turner hasn’t let any of that stop her.

Turner, a senior at Estacada High School, has volunteered on multiple community service projects through her involvement with the National Honor Society. She started during her sophomore year when the group volunteered to read stories and work on crafts with younger students at River Mill Elementary School. Most recently, she and other Honor Society members participated in a cleanup of the area’s parks that was coordinated by the local nonprofit group Antfarm.

This year, Turner also spent two weeks working with Compassion Connect, bringing free medical and dental clinics into the community.

On several occasions, Turner has participated with the National Honor Society in making blankets for other students who needed them. They’ve also coordinated several free garage sales for the community, including one to benefit local residents returning home after evacuating from the Riverside and Dowty Road fires, which destroyed 50 homes in the community.

She thinks it was compelling to help people after the fires.

“You could see people filling up their cars and you knew they weren’t just taking stuff. They really needed it,” Turner said. “It was a little slow in the beginning, but then when people came over, it was a steady flow of people.”

For Turner, it’s rewarding to connect with others through volunteerism at events like these. “I’ve always liked helping people,” she said.

 

After she graduates from Estacada High School this spring, Turner hopes to enter the human services field. She’s currently taking classes on this subject at Clackamas Community College and plans to continue after finishing high school.

“I’ve known families who don’t want to admit they need help, so I want to be someone who can help people when they need it,” she said, noting that she looks forward to working in the field after graduation. “There’s so many different areas that you can go in to help people.” With the unusual circumstances of the 2020-21 school year, Turner said she’s noticed several changes in what volunteering is like.

“There’s nothing different with people showing up that we’re helping, but I’ve noticed that there’s less people coming to help,” she said.

Turner is looking forward to graduating in June but will miss several elements of high school. “I’m excited because I want to start on my career, but I’m also nostalgic because I like being in high school with my friends,” she said.

Turner credits her work with the National Honor Society in sparking her interest in building a career helping others.

“It’s definitely helped me,” she said, adding that NHS has helped her gain more empathy. “Freshman year, I wanted to go into physical therapy, and now that I’m more involved with the NHS, it’s helped guide me in that direction.”