Co-valedictorians of Brusly High School in Louisiana, Kayla and Shayla LeBlanc graduated as the top ranked students in their class.
Shayla and Kayla, are following in the footsteps of their older two siblings, Tiera and Ricky Jr., by excelling in school and attending college on scholarship.Tiera, who graduated from Baylor University last year, is working in Baton Rouge and Ricky Jr. is attending LSU.
They told WAFB that say they study together all the time and look at this as a team accomplishment.
Their success didn’t come as a big surprise, but the decision the girls made to attend different colleges did, their mom Toni Leblanc said.
Shayla and Kayla both received invitations from a multitude of prestigious universities and each of them is following through on their dreams of attending college out-of-state.
Shayla will move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend Harvard University in the fall. Her sister Kayla will be more than 700 miles away at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Graduating its first class in 1798, UNC was the only public institution to confer degrees in the 18th century, and it is one of three universities, along with the University of Georgia and The College of William & Mary, which holds a distinct claim as the oldest public university in the United States.
As children the girls loved to play, but they also loved to learn Toni Leblanc told The Westside Journal. By the time the girls entered first grade they already knew multiplication, she said.
Their father’s job as a truck driver working in the oil fields of Midland, Texas keeps him away from home a lot but their mother, a stay-at-home mom, kept them a year ahead in school. Neither of their parents is college educated. Their mother took classes at Southern University but didn’t graduate, and their father didn’t attend college.
It is not a competitive spirit that has brought them to the top of their class, Shayla Leblanc said. Rather, it has been the desire to see each other succeed that kept them motivated to work hard, she said.
“I think I’m just excited about experiencing something different and moving away,” Kayla said. “That’s probably going to be very challenging, but I think I’m ready for it.”
“I’m excited for the same thing…being able to go off and also gain an individual identity,” Shayla said.
For now the twins will major in chemistry and then attend medical school.