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Twins mirror each other in academic ways

June 21, 2009|By DANIELLE CINTRON

HAGERSTOWN -- It was a double graduation year in every way for 18-year-old twins Anjoli and Aurielle Rowe, who not only completed high school as co-valedictorians but also received their associate degrees with a 4.0 grade-point average.

When they were seventh-graders, the sisters learned they could attend Hagerstown Community College at the age of 16. With that knowledge came a goal that prompted them to make the switch from their public school to home schooling.

"We just found out you could go to college at 16, and we both wanted to get two years out of the way," Anjoli said. "It was a challenge for us. So we set the goal and went for it."

The girls began home schooling in eighth grade in order to prepare to attend both high school and college when they could.

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"It was really different from public school," Aurielle said. "Most people think our parents taught us, but really it was just independent study. Our parents only graded our work."

When not studying at home, "the twins," as many of their friends refer to them, went to Broadfording Christian Academy, a school that offers home schooling and online learning to full-time academic programs from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

"High school was fun," Anjoli said. "We graduated with 33 students, and they are all great."

After their sophomore year in high school, they began attending Hagerstown Community College.

"We loved HCC," Aurielle said. "They had really small classes. We would tell anyone to go there."

One of the best things about going to college early was meeting all of the different people, Anjoli said.

"It was cool there because we got to make different friends," Anjoli said. "We're pretty much a unit, but when we got to college we were more independent."

The sisters graduated from HCC with associate degrees in arts and sciences. Aurielle and Anjoli had planned to go to different colleges in the fall, but both will attend the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

"Both of us just fell in love with the school and the campus," Anjoli said. "But we're not living together in the dorms. We just requested the same building."

"We need our independence from each other," Aurielle said.

With résumés as impressive as theirs, it's hard to think the Rowe twins have much time for anything other than school, but they have a long list of things they enjoy doing.

"We've been figure skating since we were 12," Aurielle said. "We don't really like to compete, but we've done competitions. It's just for fun."

Both have gone on several mission trips with their church and each has accumulated 600 hours of community service.

"Both of us were on the leadership team at Broadfording," Anjoli said. "We did a lot of service projects, like painting a building on the fairgrounds, and held socials."

They also sing in the church choir and hold part-time jobs at the Big Dipper on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown.

"Senior year has been our favorite," Anjoli said. "We got to do everything including a senior skip day, senior prank and making some really great friends."

When the Rowe twins leave for college in the fall, they will begin their junior year. Anjoli will be studying psychology and Aurielle will be pre-med in biology.

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