Roger Turner Recognized for Community Service

02/02/2022

Some people count their investments in dollars and cents. Roger Turner counts them in terms of life-changing relationships. He has forged many of them by pouring countless hours into mentoring youths. And by that measure, he is a very, very rich man.  

Roger is an area fleet manager for the vehicle operations team at Cox Enterprises and a longtime volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA). Since he began working at Cox in 1993, he has helped shape the futures of dozens of Atlanta-area students through his involvement with BBBSMA, as well as Cub Scouts and youth robotics competitions.  

For his passion and decades-long dedication to mentoring, Roger earned the Anne Cox Chambers Award. The award recognizes Cox employees who are making a positive impact through volunteerism and community service. Anne Cox Chambers was the late daughter of our company’s founder, James M. Cox, and grandmother of our Chairman and CEO Alex Taylor, and much of her life was devoted to being a community leader and philanthropist. 

An Early Influencer  

Described as positive, consistent, warm and “a bright light,” Roger has been a pillar of the BBBSMA Beyond School Walls Program since it was piloted at Cox in 2019. The program pairs students from Chamblee High School with Cox employees for mentoring activities. 

“Roger has kind of taken on almost the dad role for our whole program,” reflected Megan Arthur, site-based program manager for BBBSMA. “Without even being asked, he really stepped up to the plate to advocate for mentoring with all the new employees who were coming in to be mentors.”  

Roger is especially passionate about being an example to young men who do not have a father present in their lives. 

“I grew up without a father and there was really no one who stepped in to take that role,” Roger said. “It’s rewarding to see how time spent with the youth can make all the difference in the world.”  

A Positive Role Model 

He was paired with his most recent mentee, Nafis, during his sophomore year and throughout the remainder of his high school experience. At the time, Nafis said his life was in turmoil.  

“I was really lost and needed somebody, and Roger came in,” said Nafis, who is now a first-year student at Gwinnett Technical College. “I think that really changed the way I wanted to carry myself and had a great impact on my life.” 

Nafis said watching how Roger talked to people taught him about the true meaning of masculinity. He saw in Roger an example of how to carry himself with love and self-respect. Roger also encouraged him to think about his future and explore other career options besides boxing, a one-time professional aim which Nafis now views as more of a hobby. Nafis is currently working part-time and majoring in medical diagnostic sonography. 

A Lasting Impact 

Roger has mentored eight students from Chamblee High School since his involvement began over 20 years ago. The Beyond School Walls program, which launched in 2019, is unique because the high schoolers ride a bus to the Cox campus every other week to meet with their mentors. Since the pandemic, the meetings have continued virtually.  

On average, Cox has between 30 and 40 employees volunteering with Beyond School Walls every year. Roger has been involved from the start. 

For Nafis and all his past mentees, Roger strives to be an adult friend they can confide in outside of their peer group. Someone who will listen, offer some simple suggestions and encourage them to reach their full potential.  

“Specifically, being African American, I think it's important for those students to see people who look like them in a corporate environment, and leadership positions and roles of influence,” Roger said. 

An Enduring Legacy 

Roger said it means a lot to be only the second recipient of the Anne Cox Chambers Award, which was created last year following the passing of Mrs. Chambers in 2020.  

“It’s awesome to be able to give money to an organization in Anne Cox Chambers’ and Cox’s name, carrying on her legacy of community service.”  

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