Unique LEC scholarship leaves campus seeing double

Academics,

As “familiar” faces flocked to Twinsburg Aug. 4-6 for the city’s 100th annual Twins Day Festival, Lake Erie College made note of the many twins who call the College home.

Ever since the launch of the Twins Scholarship at LEC in 1982, twins have been a familiar presence on campus. This unique financial opportunity fully funds one student’s annual full-time tuition, essentially enabling twins to receive two college educations for the price of one.

Today, seeing double on campus (and not on the tuition bill) adds extra intrigue to the Storm. Kimesha and Kimara Young, both undergraduate alumnae of the College who are currently completing the Parker MBA program, are one set of twins to have taken advantage of this scholarship in recent years.

Originally from Burlington, NJ, the Young sisters, 26, did not set out to attend college together. After starting their educations at Burlington County College, though, the Twins Scholarship provided a boost that allowed them to transfer to LEC.

“LEC fit the bill on all our requirements,” said Kimara. “Attending the same college made it easier for our mom to visit us, too.”

Once on campus, the twins turned down the opportunity to share a dorm room and chose different courses of study, a move representative of their unique personalities. Kimesha majored in biology, pre-med, while Kimara majored in psychology. They joined various clubs, including the Black Student Union, and took on jobs, Kimesha working in the human resources office at LEC, Kimara working at Kohl’s department store in nearby Mentor, Ohio.

“When people ask, ‘Who is the good twin and who is the bad twin?’ ‘Who is the smart one?’ We always tell them it depends,” Kimesha said. “Why does there have to be one and the other?”

An interesting feature that distinguishes the sisters is their opposing writing hands, Kimara being left-handed while Kimesha uses her right. This trait became relevant when Kimara was pursuing scholarship opportunities for left-handed students, a pursuit she ultimately abandoned in favor of the Twins Scholarship so that her sister could also benefit.

This curiosity, called handedness, can signify interesting differences given the prevalence of left-handedness among sets of twins, both fraternal and identical, is high. Is preferring a different hand that big of a deal?

“I definitely notice differences in our behavior as well as our skillsets, but I would probably go crazy thinking of why we have the differences we have,” said Kimesha. “My sister and I have different allergies and different food tastes... it's really interesting how people always see our similarities but we notice how different we are.”

At Lake Erie College, students are used to encountering their friends’ siblings on campus, which can drive twins to focus on standing out in new ways. “People don’t pressure us to be different, but there is a personal pressure to distinguish ourselves from each other more,” said Kimara. “We are fine being linked to each other, but we want people to see us as individuals.”

Overall, the Young sisters are grateful for the opportunities the Twins Scholarship has provided to them, including the chance to explore and expand their differences. Following their completion of the MBA program, Kimesha and Kimara tentatively plan to separate and travel abroad to South Korea and Japan, respectively.

Our empowered students find strength in their differences but see the significance of sticking together. At Lake Erie College, twins find a home where they can be themselves.

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