New Grad Driven to Change the World
When Erin Turpin graduated from St. John Fisher College, she left with more than a degree in sustainability and sociology.
“I truly believe I attained a strong sense of goodness, discipline, and knowledge in my three years at Fisher, and I left with a well-rounded education and a drive to change the world and promote social and environmental justice,” she says.
A native of Staten Island, New York, Turpin will stay in Rochester for the next year, serving as a Rochester Youth Year AmeriCorps VISTA. Rochester Youth Year gives a cohort of recent graduates from Rochester area colleges the opportunity to work with a local nonprofit engaging in indirect, capacity-building service. Turpin will work with St. Mark’s and St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, helping both churches leverage partnerships with community organizations to address barriers to health and educational success.
“I’ll be finding ways to improve and implement programming for the developing EDEN Center for Well Being, and building capacity to provide healthy and sustainable food, education, and job training, health and wellness resources, and social connection for low-income residents in the Beechwood neighborhood,” she explains.
It is work Turpin said she is excited and ready to tackle. As a First Generation Scholar at Fisher, she completed hundreds of service hours, allowing her to become familiar with Rochester while learning about servant leadership. Turpin said her dual majors in sustainability and sociology, and her active involvement with Fisher’s Center for Sustainability, showed her connections between sustainability and community engagement.
“Learning in both disciplines really helped me to take two of my passions and merge them together to better understand how environmental conditions impact communities, and now I’m able to use both of these fields in my role at St. Mark’s and St. John’s,” she says.
And while Turpin isn’t sure where her career path will head following her year as a VISTA, she knows it will be driven by a desire to make the world a better place.
“I hope that I can reduce the impacts of environmental and social injustices in many the lives of many, and teach those around me that we can each make a difference,” she says.