A set of twins from Philadelphia are among the top of their class and are being recognized with the highest distinctions.
Fraternal twins Jonathan and Janaya Boston McCray are graduating from William W. Bodine High School in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties, and are their class’ valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.
“We motivate each other all the time, like we compete with each other for grades, so I would say competition with each other is our biggest motivation,” Janaya told 6abc.
Each twin will attend college on full scholarships, citing their hard work and dedication for finally paying off.
“Good Morning Facebook Family and Friends! I am pleased to announce that I will be graduating as Valedictorian and my twin sister Janaya will be graduating Salutatorian,” Jonathan wrote in a Facebook post last month.
“We will be giving graduation speeches. The hard work paid off. I have to give all honor and praise to God. I will never thought I would be graduating first in my class in High School!” he added.
The twins, who were born only one minute apart, are also first-generation college students. They say that they owe a lot of their success to their parents, who have been a constant source of support.
“I watched my parents sacrifice a lot for me and my sister throughout the years,” Jonathan shared.
Janaya will be attending Temple University to pursue a veterinary degree, and Jonathan is headed to Washington, D.C. to study pre-law at Howard University.
Jonathan plans to become a lawyer and “trusted politician” with hopes to eventually become president of the United States.
“I wanna become president one day. Hopefully, take Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ spot,” he said, as his sister smiled.
Kate Raber, the McCray twins’ history teacher, spoke highly of the duo, saying they are excellent students who take advantage of their intellect.
“They are students who know their minds. They’re students who know how to learn,” Raber said. “They’re students who know how to take advantage of opportunities to elevate their own voices and their classmates’ voices.”
Janaya also expressed the tremendous responsibility of being at the forefront of her peers, but on that same sentiment, said it’s a rewarding experience.
“Being valedictorian and salutatorian is like a big weight to carry especially since you’re representing the whole school,” she said. “And being able to be twins to accomplish that is amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The twins are set to graduate on Thursday, which also happens to be their 18th birthday.