NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A set of Norfolk twins used their competitive nature to push them to the top of their graduating class at Booker T. Washington High School.
Malkym Watkins was born first, just one minute before his brother and twin, Maleik.
Their mother Shawnetta Dennis says the two share a very close bond.
“They are definitely twins, but they have different personalities,” said Dennis. “They are very competitive.”
On Tuesday, Malkym is ahead of his brother again, but instead of by one minute, by one ranking.
But they say there are no hard feelings.
“It was always his goal to beat me because usually I’m always on top in academics,” said Maleik.
According to their school, Malkym is number 3 and Maleik ranks number 4 in their graduating class of 2018.
“I’m a very competitive person and I’ve succeeded when it mattered the most,” said Malkym.
However the truth is, they’ve both succeeded and at most everything even when the odds were stacked against them.
“We had a single parent, growing up in public housing [and] all odds were stacked against us. It truly shows you that you don’t have to be a product of your surroundings, it’s up to you whether or not you decide to take the extra step to achieve things,” Maleik said.
The twins are graduating with honors and both already have college credits. Malkym is in the ROTC and attending Norfolk State University on a full tuition scholarship. Then he hopes to join the Navy.
Maleik enjoys the cello and is also getting a full ride to Norfolk State University and majoring in electrical engineering.
The twins say it’s people, like mom and grandpa, who’ve helped them walk this stage.
The twins say they have advice for others.
“If you put forth the effort and the will, you can achieve anything,” Maleik said.
“Never ever give up on what you want to accomplish in life, the only thing that can hold you back in life is yourself,” Malkym said.
And, in the end, 3 or 4, the numbers don’t really matter because both twins came out on top.
“It feels great, it’s time to get this next chapter of my life started,” Malkym said.