Identical twins Tia and Tyra Smith, both 18, made history June 8 in Chicago when they graduated from Lindblom Math and Science Academy as co-valedictorians with 4.0 GPAs, Good Morning America reports.
“I was glad it was both of us,” Tyra told GMA. “We really worked together in order to be where we were. It was the last thing we could do together in school before we have to leave each other.”
Tia and Tyra both excelled beyond the classroom. The dynamic duo started the school’s first Black History Art Gallery—titled More Than 28—and created a community awareness campaign for kidney disease at the STEM Challenge Showcase in Illinois, where they presented a spec episode of black-ish.
Yes, Tia and Tyra are multifaceted, sharing a deep love for screenwriting and using their creativity to address issues prevalent in Black communities.
In addition to the 12 Advanced Placement courses the twins aced, they also participated in theater at Lindblom Academy, and have both chosen theater as their college majors.
Tia will be attending Duke University, where she plans to major in theater and statistics, while Tyra will attend Northwestern University and major in theater and economics.
“Theater 1 has been the most rewarding and the most influential in shaping the person I am today,” Tia told GMA.
Lemi-Ola Erinkitola, the girls’ proud mother, is thrilled that they got to share the honor of being co-valedictorians.
“Typically what we’ve seen is one valedictorian,” Erinkitola said. “I was glad because they’re going to separate colleges and it put a nice, finishing touch on their years together academically.
“It was very, very emotional and goes beyond just the title,” she continued. “The fact they can share that platform together and a memory they can carry throughout their journeys in life.”
Read more at Good Morning America.