Serena Turner

Serena Turner’s mantra, “hard work pays off,” is setting her up for a bright future.

5 a.m. school day practices and an arduous class schedule are a testament to Serena Turner’s dedication to her ultimate goal, which she achieved with an early acceptance to Stanford University. 

Turner was introduced to volleyball in the sixth grade and discovered how much she enjoyed the game. In eighth grade, her mom suggested  beach volleyball. She took her mom’s idea and discovered one of her passions.

“The recruiting process began in eighth grade, and I was recruited for indoor and beach volleyball,” Turner said. “By the end of my freshman year, I had verbally committed to the application process for beach volleyball at Stanford.”

Turner said she still had to apply for regular academic admission – and she’s recently been accepted.

“Stanford has always been my dream school,” Turner said. “I reached out to them for indoor and beach, and when they responded for beach, a bond was formed. Stanford and I talked, and they came and watched some of my games; they liked me.”

“Serena has such a positive, contagious attitude,” Turner’s mom Kathy said. “Combined with her strong discipline and determination, she’s successful at reaching her goals. We’re extremely proud of her hard work.”

During the summer months, Turner’s volleyball practice started at 5 a.m. and lasted for an hour and a half to two hours. She also lifts weights twice a week, and she’s recently started spin classes.

Academically, Turner is passionate about school and taking rigorous classes, which she cites as the key to receiving so many opportunities.

“Hard work pays off,” Turner said, “that’s why I’m always pushing myself to take more challenging classes to make me the best I can be.”

Turner plans to major in computer science and minor in environmental science at Stanford. 

“I’m passionate about getting more women into computer science,” Turner said. “While the gap is decreasing, women are still underrepresented in the field. With a computer science degree, I can go in so many different directions after college.”

When not playing volleyball or studying, Turner enjoys hiking, traveling, photography, playing the piano and being outdoors.

“I am so proud of my daughter for all of the hard work she has put into her academics, volleyball and community give-back activities. She’s truly a great kid and such a kind person to everyone,” Turner’s dad Rich said. “I think her future is exceptionally bright, and we’re excited to watch her continue to grow, develop and make a positive impact.”