Additional Supporters

Debbye Turner Bell’s first passion is motivational speaking. Since being crowned Miss America in 1990, Turner Bell has spoken to more than a half million students at hundreds of schools, youth organizations and college campuses. She has addressed audiences in the corporate, academic, political arenas. Her topics include personal excellence, determination, goal setting and the importance of a solid education. Turner Bell’s beliefs reflect her own life-lessons – it took seven years and eleven tries in two states before she was crowned Miss America.

Since 2001, Debbye Turner Bell has been enjoying her role in broadcast journalism as a staff correspondent for CBS News. She covers a variety of subjects, and is from time to time called upon to cover breaking and developing news. Turner Bell has been dubbed The Early Show's resident veterinarian sharing a wealth of advice about quality pet care. In 2002, Debbye garnered an interview with President & Mrs. Bush at the White House for a Pet Planet segment about the first family’s pets. Periodically she reports for the CBS Evening News. Turner Bell hosts a prime time television magazine program called "48 Hours on WE." Prior to joining CBS, she co-hosted a local television magazine program called "ShowMe St. Louis."

Although her job at CBS takes her across the country, Turner Bell has found time to serve on many local, state and national boards over the years, including the National Council on Youth leadership, Children's Miracle Network, Missouri Division of Youth Services and Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club, and the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council, which is an advisory council to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is an institute in the National Institutes of Health.

Debbye Turner Bell

Born Marie Wright, she is of African American, Dominican and Indian descent. She began her journey in the arts as a child in Boston, MA. She attended the Roxbury Center for Performing Arts for 11 years and traveled and toured as part of a young dance troupe.

Free left Boston to immerse herself in her true passion: music. One of Free's stepping-stones was an internship at a radio station in MA, where she began to make a name for herself. She then made career moves between LA and New York in an effort to build the structure of her calling.

“What influenced me to chase after my dreams was music itself; its power and creative medium.” Fate led her to a casting held by BET, where executives choose her to co-host their signature show based in NYC: "106 & Park Top 10 live".

During her 5 years at 106 & Park, Free focused on enhancing her hosting & interviewing abilities.

Free is the founder of Free4Life, a foundation dedicated to targeting young girls to provide them with education on financial literacy and connecting them with activities to develop their creativity in an effort to create awareness on the prevention of domestic abuse.

Free also established the Free4Life Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods through programs that encourage literacy, financial education and creative arts. The Free4Life Foundation has created opportunities that inspire, support, encourage and strengthen the healthy development of young people in Boston’s underserved communities. Initially focused on eradicating domestic violence and improving financial literacy, Free is currently in the process of expanding the depth and breadth of the foundation’s scope. Through the foundation, Free also launched the successful fundraising event, Break! Break

Marie "Free" Wright