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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

17-Year-Old Black Twin Sisters From Pennsylvania Headed to Harvard University

Gianna and Tianna

Nationwide — Twin sisters Gianna and Tianna Tout-Puissant, both 17 years old from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, have been accepted at Harvard University where they will play basketball and pursue careers as surgeons.

Born more than two months prematurely, the twins overcame health challenges as infants. They continued defying the odds and secured admission to Harvard University, which had only a 3.4% acceptance rate out of 56,937 applicants for the class of 2027.

“We logged into our application portals at the exact same time, and then we read, ‘Congratulations,’ on each other’s screens, and then we just started all screaming,” Gianna told The Morning Call. “My mom was crying. It was crazy.”

The twins, who recently graduated from Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said going to Harvard is “surreal” and they look forward to joining a community of “hardworking and out-of-the-box thinkers.”

“To see them and how they’ve blossomed into the young women they are today, it’s like they’re miracle babies,” said their mother Leah Tout-Puissant.

At Harvard, both sisters plan to pursue a major in chemistry on the pre-medicine track, with the ultimate goal to attend medical school in the future. Gianna is considering pursuing a career in either cardiothoracic surgery or neurosurgery, while Tianna is particularly interested in neurosurgery, fascinated by how different parts of the brain influence personality traits.

The duo shares a common interest in the tactile nature of surgical procedures and exploring how pharmaceutical drugs can benefit patients. They ultimately decided to major in chemistry due to their great experiences with the subject in high school. They excelled in their chemistry classes, making detailed notes and staying up late to master the concepts. They often assisted fellow students with studying and completing problem sets.

“I think a lot of their peers thought it was just natural for them,” said their chemistry teacher Cole Wisdo. “But I had the real pleasure of seeing just how crazy hard they were working at it.”

In addition to their academic achievements, the twins displayed a remarkable commitment to varsity basketball throughout their high school years. Their hard work paid off, with Gianna becoming an outstanding scorer and Tianna becoming a reliable point guard. They invested countless hours in refining their skills, hoping to join Harvard’s Division I women’s team.

Moreover, the sisters cherish their close bond, considering each other their best friends. They do everything together and even share a room with bunk beds. While their work ethics align closely, they acknowledge their contrasting personalities.

“I know this sounds cheesy, but we’re very yin and yang,” Tianna said. “She says this crazy idea, and then I’m like, ‘OK, let’s think about the pros and cons of this before we do it.’ And then she gets me to step out of my comfort zone.”

As they prepare to embrace the next chapter of their lives at Harvard, they are excited to continue their journey still together, supporting and challenging each other along the way.

“We were really set on going to college together,” Gianna said. “And the fact that we were able to both get into such an amazing college was a dream come true.”

Follow them on Instagram @GiannaTianna_Twins