Twins, Tia and Tyra Smith recently graduated from Chicago’s Lindblom Math and Science Academy with 4.0 GPAs and secured the title of co-valedictorians.
The 18-year-old sisters each excelled in 12 Advancement Placement courses, including U.S. history. In fact, they both juggled five AP classes in their final year of high school.
“I was like, ‘No, I’m not approving this. That’s not a stress level I’m comfortable with,’” Lindblom guidance counselor April Weathers told the Chicago Sun-Times.“What did they get? Straight A’s.”
For their senior year, Tia and Tyra launched two major projects at Lindblom: the academy’s first Black history, student art-featured gallery, titled “More than 28,” and a community health campaign for kidney disease.
Both sisters credit their achievements to hard work, encouraging one another and consistent communication with teachers.
“I think we’re successful, because of ourselves and because we’ve worked together throughout all these years,” Tia said. “I think it makes sense to do this together.”
Though they both will be studying theater this fall, Tia will attend Duke University while Tyra will enroll at Northwestern University.
Both have been awarded a total of $5 million in scholarship funds.
“Their achievement did not come as a surprise because we’ve been working with them at a very early age,” the sisters’ mother, Lemi-Ola Erinkitola, told Good Morning America. Erinkitola is an educator, author and founder of The Critical Thinking Child, which provides consulting and tutoring services to children, educators and families.
“It was very, very emotional and goes beyond just the title. It was the fact that they can share that platform together and a memory they can carry throughout their journeys in life.”
While neither sister knows exactly where their path will take them, Tyra said she has her eyes set on “be[ing] happy,” and Tia wants to dive into the world of theater, making it “more accessible” for the masses.