In 2010, Tod Robberson wrote an article about a friend of mine in The Dallas Morning News. An excerpt will introduce this amazing man who helps us love our community in a very tangible manner.

Nothing focuses an audience’s attention like the voice of authority, and there is no question that John Carter, a coach at Lincoln High School in South Dallas, has it when he calls together students and parents alike for the monthly meeting of his Turner 12 group.

He asks everyone to stand, and with minimal prompting, parents and students alike recite the group’s mantra in unison:

“Whatever you can visibly imagine, whatever you can sincerely believe, whatever you can ardently desire, whatever you can enthusiastically act upon, it will inevitably come to pass.”

Carter founded the Turner 12 a decade ago with an eye toward guiding parents and children to work as a team, focusing on excellent grades and college graduation. The program started with 12 middle school students from the 294-unit Turner Courts public housing project in South Dallas. It was an environment with precious few examples of success. Carter says he checked statistics and found that, in the entire decade before he began the program, only six kids from Turner Courts had attended college.

All the original Turner 12 graduated from high school and 11 went to college. Over the years, Carter has gradually raised the performance bar…

The love John Carter gives that group is extraordinary. I meet John monthly—we talk sports, family, and life. He calls me ‘Uncle Dave’ and I call him ‘Coach.’ Recently I met up with him.

“Hi, Coach.”

“Uncle Dave!”

“I just saw The Dallas Morning News article, so I wanted to love on you.”

“I know for certain you love me, because you and Trina love people. That’s the key. There’s so much about our lives that’s different but not that. We both love people. We see it in the life of Jesus. He came to show His love for people. I love you. You love me. First Rate loves the Turner 12. You know how I know that, Uncle Dave?”


“By the way you love. First Rate demonstrates its love by the cheerfulness in which you love the Turner 12. You connect. You listen. You touch. And it’s all because of love.”

#LoveGiveServeEnjoy #FirstRateLiving