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Rockford program helping people in disenfranchised communities find success

ROCKFORD (WREX) – In life, everyone does not have access to the same resources.

It’s an imbalance Tony Turner is trying to fix.

“You have to go to the root of the issue to change for future generations,” Turner said.

Turner created Conscious Coaching about 5 years ago, focusing on child education.

However, Turner realized the problem begins much further the down the line from the kids.

He believes it stems from the environments where they grow up.

“There are kids in the bubble, there are kids on the bubble and there are kids outside of the bubble,” Turner said.

“The kids in the bubble grow up in strenuous, impoverished conditions.”

Conscious Coaching picked up speed in the last two years, according to Turner, organizing and participating in multiple events throughout the community..

One of which was hosting the first black graduation in Rockford– recognizing more than 40 students graduating from high school and 8th grade.

David Daye, a legal intern with the City of Rockford, was one of those graduates.

“I think it’s so refreshing to see someone trying to project positivty into our community and to uplift our youth, especially our minority youth, who sometimes don’t get that push that they need,” Daye said.

“We can come together and recognize that everything we are doing is great.and he’s definitely spotlighting that.”

The hope for Turner is that bringing more attention to the possibility of success will eventually feed back into the very areas these people grew up in.

“If hurt people hurt people, then the opposite would be helped people help people. Nobody is coming back to help people in those neighborhoods and that’s why it really became a focus for me,” Turner said.

Turner’s goal for Conscious Coaching is to see it expand outside of Rockford to the rest of the stateline and, eventually, across the entire state.



Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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