The similarities between Chicago twins Tyra and Tia Smith go far beyond their physical features. The sisters both finished their senior year with 4.0 GPAs and were named co-valedictorians of West Englewood’s Lindblom Math and Science Academy, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Lindblom is one of the top-performing schools in Illinois. Throughout their entire time at the school, the twins excelled academically. During their senior year, they received straight A’s in advanced placement courses. Tia and Tyra both have a passion for theatre. Outside of the classroom, they participated in two arts programs that covered the different aspects of theatrical production. While in these programs, they learned about everything from playwriting to how a professional arts organization is operated. Their guidance counselor April Weathers initially thought taking AP courses and participating in the theater programs would be a lot for the teens, but they were able to handle their schoolwork and extracurriculars.
The Smith twins will take their love for theater with them as they further their education. They both received full-ride scholarships. Tia will study statistics and theater at Duke University and Tyra will study economics and theater at Northwestern University. They will deliver their valedictorian speech together. “I think we’re successful because of ourselves and because we’ve worked together throughout all these years,” Tia told the news outlet. “I think it makes sense to do this together.”
Black graduates across the nation are finishing off their high school experiences on a high note. In May, two Black teens from Arkansas hit major milestones by becoming the first African American females to be named valedictorian and salutatorian in the Junction City School District’s history. Houston native Kellin McGowan also made history by becoming the first Black student at St. Thomas High School to be named valedictorian.