Rome, N.Y. -- Separated by only a minute at birth, but less than a grade point in the classroom. Twins, Adelina and Rafael Rivera, are graduating Rome Free Academy as the class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively.
"There was a lot of excitement in the house, and it wasn't really coming from us..."
Said Rafael, the younger of the two. Succeeding in the classroom runs in the family, as their older sister, Izabella, was RFA's Salutatorian in 2019. There's no question that both twins worked incredibly hard and stayed focused throughout high school to achieve such academic success, but their commitment to extracurricular activities played a role in their development as people too.
During high school, Adelina and Rafael were members of RFA's Honor Society, Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), Marching Band, and Musical productions. Their mom, Rebecca says that taking up those particular clubs were their choices, and she thinks it's helped them become more than just scholars in the classroom.
"Their grades are just a small portion of who they are. They're some of the most kind and wonderful people and it's been a pleasure just watching them grow and watching them challenge themselves."
The two graduate RFA Saturday, June 26th, which coincidentally enough, happens to be their 18th birthday. Following graduation, Adelina will attend Vassar College to study Biology and Chemistry, while Rafael will attend Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) for computer science.