Lemi-Ola Erinkitola

Identical Twin Sisters Graduate As Co-Valedictorians With 4.0 GPAs

When we had big plans for the future, it made it a little easier to come to the grudging conclusion that we'd have to work hard in school.

But no matter how much I muttered and procrastinated, doing well was important to me and even tests that I felt I did well on inspired a lot of worry before I saw my grade.

So when graduation finally came, it felt amazing both to be done with that chapter and to see my hard work pay off.

But even knowing that, I can only imagine the feeling of sharing that success with someone who's always been by your side.

18-year-old Tia and Tyra Smith of Illinois seemed to hit the ground running when they came to Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

Instagram | @thecriticalthinkingchild

As Good Morning America reported, the pair both earned 4.0 GPAs and each of them passed 12 advanced placement courses with flying colors.

Their mother Lemi-Ola Erinkitola, the founder of a tutoring business called "The Critical Thinking Child," had been working with them from an early age.

Instagram | @thecriticalthinkingchild

So while this was a proud moment for her, she also said the twins' achievement didn't come as a surprise because she ensured their skills had a strong foundation.

Although the sisters shared the same achievement, they approached it through slightly different interests.

Reddit | Emaknz

While Tia enjoyed AP United States history and human geography the most, Tyra was more inclined towards biotechnology and math.

What their favorite subjects don't reveal, however, is how passionate they are about their creative pursuits.

Reddit | plantman79

Both were involved in their school's gallery club that featured art from other students and they were responsible for the first black history art gallery their school has ever seen.

They also collaborated with a health care company called Baxter International in an awareness campaign about kidney disease that involved writing an episode of Black-ish.

Both Tia and Tyra clearly have a lot of academic aptitude, but that's not the only thing they credit their success to.

Reddit | hobbymaster001

Both said they got a lot out of going to their teachers' office hours and discussing anything that stood in their way.

Even though it's not usually done, their achievements together made it easy to understand why Tia and Tyra were named their school's co-valedictorians.

YouTube | Good Morning America

As 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. It was the fact they can share that platform together and a memory they can carry throughout their journeys in life."

Indeed, Tyra is bound for Northwestern University, while Tia is headed for Duke.

Lemi-Ola Erinkitola

Despite going to different schools, however, both young women will be exploring their greatest passion: theater.

Tyra will also study economics and Tia will also study statistics, but both will major in theater.

Neither are sure exactly what career they want to pursue and Tyra dreams simply of ending up in a place where she's happy, but Tia has more specific goals in mind.

Reddit | AVTechNerd

She said she wants to write, draw, and edit a comic book series, direct at least one play by August Wilson, and then own a theater later in life and make it more accessible.

h/t: Good Morning America