Her sister graduated as Lynn English valedictorian and went to Harvard. Now she has, too.

This article was published 5 year(s) and 3 month(s) ago.

Meghan Turner, left, this years valedictorian at Lynn English High School will be attending Harvard this fall. Ashley Turner graduated valedictorian from Lynn English High in 2009 and graduated from Harvard in 2013. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — History has repeated itself for the Turner family as Meghan Turner echoed her sister Ashley’s accomplishment in being named the valedictorian of Lynn English High School with plans to attend Harvard University.

Meghan, 18, will study environmental engineering at Harvard University. With a GPA of 4.632, her academic accomplishments have also guaranteed that she won’t pay a dime to attend the Ivy League school.

Her interest is in working to eliminate plastic waste, with a focus on plastic in the ocean. She learned about a fungus in the Amazon that a group of Yale students have been researching, which produces an enzyme that breaks down parts of plastic.

“It was crazy,” Meghan said about finding out she was named valedictorian. “I’m friends with the person who’s second now, so we kept going back and forth the past few years, so it was pretty awesome to find out.”

Her sister, Ashley, 26, was the Lynn English valedictorian in 2009, and graduated from Harvard five years ago. She studied psychology and works in medical informatics, or the healthcare industry.

“It’s nice to know she’s already gone through it so it’s a lot of advice I can pick out of (her) brain,” Meghan said of her sister. “It’s comforting to know there’s someone else I can talk to. It’s kind of like a dream team, dynamic duo.”

The sisters are close now, despite a big age gap growing up. Ashley lives in Los Angeles, where she met her husband. Harvard also helped her out a lot financially, she said, and if it hadn’t been for that assistance, she wouldn’t have been able to go to college.

Ashley said she would advise Meghan to always reach out and talk to people if she ever needs help or advice.

She said there is always someone who can help, and sometimes that help can come from unexpected places. She said the worst thing someone can do is sit alone with their thoughts and problems.

Meghan said what she’ll miss most about Lynn English is Latin Club and Science Team with teachers Michael Haddad and Jeffrey Bigler. She said science team pushed her to go into engineering.

Outside of school, Meghan’s interest is in music — she sings and composes for piano. She performed at Carnegie Hall with a singing group for the Honors Performance Series. She also does photography, drawing and painting on the side.

“Megs is definitely the creative one,” said Ashley. “I’m a little bit more on the rigid side. She’s a builder, a thinker, a creator. I definitely find that very inspiring.”

Meghan said she’s learned from Ashley how to think about things differently and find a alternate route to the same path. She’s also learned about perseverance and not to give up if she reaches a roadblock.

Ashley loves traveling — she took Meghan and their mother, Patricia, to Japan and Hawaii last year. They have also gone to London and Puerto Rico. She said she’ll usually call them on a whim two weeks ahead of time and tell them to pack their bags.

In general, Ashley said it’s important to work hard, but simultaneously take care of yourself, something she’s learned along the way. She would always be pushing to meet deadlines, but if you lose sight of taking care of yourself along the way, you can’t do much.

“I am very proud of my girls,” said their father, Richard. “I’ve actually probably made a lot of people mad because all I talk about is my girls. As far as a father goes, I would have to say I was blessed.”

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