It’s hard to miss Beverly Turek.
She walks with a bit of confidence in her step, smiles at almost everyone, and her fire engine-red glasses can be seen from a block away.
“When you meet her, you’ll know. That’s for sure,” said Pablo Vinas, who works for Beverly.
And as she moves around her Bryan store, checking on the work of her employees, it might seem as if she doesn’t have a care in the world.
But Beverly wasn’t always so happy. In fact, Beverly has a past that she tries to forget and doesn’t bring up voluntarily. She only admits that the rough events she experienced helped her get to where she is today.
“At the age of 38, something dramatic happened in my life. My dad walked into my room one day, and he said ‘Beverly, I’m going to send you to school.’ And I said, ‘School? You’re going to send me to school? For what?’ And he said, ‘I want you to go to computer school. Pack your bags,’” Turek said.
Without her knowledge, Beverly’s father had enrolled her in a college computer program, a course that typically took a year to get into. With no car and only a few clothes, Beverly was dropped off on the steps of the college by her father.
Beverly completed the course, and after struggling to find a company that would hire her, was given a small job in the Brazos Valley.
“And when I came to Bryan-College Station, I didn’t have anything. No clothes, no anything. And a lady – Shirley Wineman is her name – took me to Hospice Brazos Valley. And the very nice lady at Hospice actually took me to Wal-Mart and bought me some under clothes. So that was kind of my start of my journey in Bryan-College Station,” Turek said.
Beverly slowly gained experience with computers, and eventually decided she wanted to take a shot at running her own business. Her idea turned into a legitimate business, repairing and selling computers, as well as designing websites.
But she wasn’t done yet.
Her love for Dublin Dr. Pepper started a second business.
“Dublin Dr. Pepper for me is probably the drink of all drinks. And when I opened my business, I decided I wanted to bring something unique to Bryan-College Station. So I’ve expanded it over the last five years, where people come in for drinks, they come in for gift baskets, they come in for t-shirts and hats. I consider myself an official boot-legger of Dublin Dr. Pepper,” Turek said.
While Turek created a business out of her love for the soft drink, she also uses it as way to make her customers feel at home.
“I remember my dad telling me stories of the [1950’s] when he went to a shop or hardware store, and they would sit and drink coffee and socialize. And then after an hour they would get up and get their parts and go home. Well I wanted to create the same kind of environment here where people could come in here and they could sit and ask questions. And they would get the time spent with them to get the answers they need,” Turek said.
But out of all her business ventures, there is one Beverly is most proud of.
“I wanted to give back to the community so much. And I wanted to help change people’s lives, like people have helped me change my life. So what I did was I developed a program,” Turek said.
That program consists of a year-long training course, in which students take on-line education courses while also assisting Beverly in her computer shop.
And she provides all the education she can, for free.
“I love to teach. I love to share knowledge. And I make them into a learning machine. I want my guys or girls to soak it up. And I want them to increase their knowledge and do good for themselves. If you are serious and you want to learn, then I welcome you in here,” Turek said.
Beverly accepts anyone who walks through her door to participate in what she calls an “intensive internship.” She does require that they have at least a high school diploma, and a willingness to learn.
“I think that it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for some people. Because not anybody would just give somebody a chance. After a year, you can do whatever you like. If you stay here, you stay. If you get another job, that’s great too. But I think this definitely opens a lot of doors for a lot of people,” Vinas said, who has completed Beverly’s program and is now her lead technician.
Beverly said she has seen a few come through her doors who were down on their luck, and leave a year later with a new outlook on life, similar to the same steps she took only a few years ago.
“If you have determination and you have the drive that you want to change your life, anything is possible. All you have to do is get out and meet people. People are put in your path for a reason. Because you can learn off of everybody. For me, I could have sat there and tell you all day, ‘I need to change. I need to change. I need to change.’ So admitting that I needed to change wasn’t the hard part. It was actually taking that step to change,” Turek said.
It’s hard to miss Beverly Turek.
If her smile doesn’t stop you, her red-rimmed glasses will. If her Dublin Dr. Pepper doesn’t get you to share a story, she’ll share one with you – and she’ll let you know that anything can be accomplished.
Because she’s done it all before.
“If someone is in a situation where they have to walk out of something into the not knowing, the advice I give them is take a deep breath, say ‘I can do this’, and step out and do it. Because there will always be somebody there with hands out to help you,” Turek said.
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If you would like to visit Beverly at her computer shop, her address is:
1702A S Texas Ave
Bryan, TX 77802-1019