PV senior honored in national volunteer recognition program

Turner met Olympic skier, made connections with local students in service project

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
Piedra Vista High School senior Trennery Turner, center, and Albuquerque fifth-grader Lily Chacon speak with Olympian Lindsey Vonn at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 29.

FARMINGTON — A Piedra Vista High School student was recognized in Washington, D.C., this past week for her volunteerism.

PVHS senior Trennery Turner was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community award and recognized in a presentation ceremony at the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History on April 29, according to a Prudential press release.

Turner, who lives in Bloomfield, was recognized for her volunteer work over the past seven years with several Four Corners organizations, including, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Mexico, San Juan County 4H and San Juan Regional Medical Center’s teen volunteer program.

She was one of 100 teen volunteers from throughout the nation to earn the award, which identifies and recognizes “young people for outstanding volunteer service,” the release states. More than 29,000 students in fifth through 12th grades applied for the 2018 awards.

Award winners receive a $1,000 scholarship, an engraved medallion and a four-day all-expenses paid trip to the national capitol for recognition events, the release states. During the April 29 recognition ceremony, Turner and other award winners received personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist and World Cup Champion skier Lindsey Vonn.

Turner said she had a brief chance to speak with Vonn, who she considers her “No. 1 hero” and “a positive role model for young girls.”

However, she said the best part of the trip was visiting Thomson Elementary School in the D.C. area to deliver books to the school and spend time with students.

Piedra Vista High School student Trennery Turner has been recognized for her volunteer work with an award from a national organization

“I really had a strong connection with the kids,” Turner said on May 4.

Turner said being involved in the program and going on the trip, which also involved a visit to the National Mall, inspired her.

“There’s definitely a lot of people in the United States that are doing some amazing things with their lives, so that’s just something that gives me hope for the future,” Turner said.

Each year, two youth volunteers from each state are recognized in the program, which is sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Albuquerque fifth-grader Lily Chacon also received a Prudential Spirit of Community award for her cleanup and restoration projects in the Rio Grande Valley State Park, including planting more than 50 trees.

The program will begin accepting applications for the 2018-19 program in September, according to its website. Youth volunteers involved in local American Red Cross chapters, Girl Scout troops, Points of Light networks, YMCAs or 4H organizations are eligible to apply. State finalists are announced in February.

More information is available at

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or