Garden Educator Tacumba Turner

Pittsburgh native Tacumba Turner sees working at Grow Pittsburgh as a point of convergence in his life, as it draws together his love of sustainable agriculture, working with youth, and social justice. He’s glad to be bringing his skills and interests back into his community by teaching at Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 and Dilworth Traditional Academy.

Tacumba’s background in horticultural science led him to an internship with City of Pittsburgh Open Space Specialist Shelly Danko+Day. His work with the Adopt a Lot program and food insecurity in urban settings solidified his resolve to make a difference in the nonprofit sector. Before working with Grow Pittsburgh, Tacumba spent time with the Student Conservation Association and GTECH.

Tacumba learned to teach at his mother’s knee, often tagging along with her while she worked with youth programs. He also credits being a part of programs like The Boys and Girls Club, Slippery Rock University’s Benjamin Wiley leadership course, and the NEED program with his desire to work with and mentor youth.

Tacumba believes in examining the philosophical underpinnings of our society and challenging them if they are unjust. He worked at the Hazelwood Youth Justice Program as a program manager, teaching youth how to make short-form videos addressing social justice issues. He also serves on the board for Sankofa Village Community Garden.

Tacumba has many interests, including photography, basketball, poetry, chess and the arts. He has a dog named Twinkie, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix.