Kambri Turner gives every one of our questions, no matter how mundane, the same level of undivided attention. She’s careful to answer when we ask what she and her friends do during recess, twisting one strand of hair on her index finger as she considers all the angles. “We usually walk around and talk but that changes,” she says after some deliberation.
The days wouldn’t be the same without her besties, the best of whom she’s known since kindergarten. Animal company is not excluded, of course, as Kambri is the proud owner of two dogs, the boxer Mack and doodle mix Ace.
A connoisseur of chicken fried rice, anything colored teal, and sleepovers, Kambri enjoys swimming at the public pool or lake when there’s a break in her hectic social schedule. Her mother taught her how to swim, and now she treads water on her own with her friends, eyes shut as another game of Marco Polo closes out the summer. She’s dived twice but admits that it makes her scared. We feel that one of these days, Kambri will try it again and find that it’s not so terrifying when you try it over.
Other than a swimming coach, Kambri’s mother holds the unique responsibility of making her laugh. She appreciates her mom’s sense of humor and admires her dad’s strength due to his demanding job at the correctional center. Aside from her parents, her aunt, who lives in Texas, has a secure place in Kambri’s heart. The shopping trips they take when she visits are always an event. The connection she feels for family has strengthened in the past year, as she’s welcomed a brand new baby brother, Ryder, into the world.
She wants to make her family proud. When asked what advice she’d offer a younger version of herself, she says, “Be kind, follow directions, and pay attention.” Why? “Because if I’ve been bad at school and my mom finds out, I’m gonna get in big trouble.” Kambri’s already discovered the importance of keeping priorities in order.
Along with the sleepovers and Xbox games, she has an athletic side that needs to be released from time to time. She’s preparing to go into competitive gymnastics and to try out for basketball next year and is currently perfecting her techniques in gymnastics and tumbling practice. Recently, she had a day in the gym where she couldn’t pull off a back handspring with the ease she expected. “I did it and it was really hard,” Kambri explains. Resistance can often dampen our spirits, especially if we want to perfect something immediately. She appears patient, and we have a feeling her dedication to repeating that back handspring, again and again, will pay off soon.
Kambri says she doesn’t know how her friends would describe her. “I don't know what kind of friend they think I am,” she says. She considers the question further, fiddling with her ring. After a pause, she settles on, “I'm a pretty good friend. I always try to be kind to them.” We're no friendship experts, but we assume that kindness is a cornerstone of being a great friend. Speaking of friends, as we close out our time together, Kambri informs us how she’d use a magic wand if it were available— she’d conjure a new friend. Not a human one, as her best friends are already ideal. No, she wants another dog. So far, her mother has said “no” since they already have two, but… we’ll let you handle that one on your own, Kambri. Good luck in gymnastics next year!