Three brothers will be the first set of triplets to ever graduate from Louisiana’s Grambling State University.
The Wilson brothers consists of Stevie, Steven and Stephon. Stevie and Steven have plans to become doctors, while the youngest sibling, Stephon, is transitioning into a position with The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as an asset management specialist according to a press release sent to Blavity.
The brothers were born eight weeks premature and were initially projected to have developmental delays.
“They tried to put us in special education,” said Stephon, a double major in management and computer information systems, according to Grambling State News. “If it wasn’t for my mother…she’s the one that said ‘no, those boys got talent.’ When we graduated high school, we proved them wrong. Now we’re getting ready to walk and prove them wrong.”
The Winnfield, Louisiana natives decided to attend Grambling State because it is their mother’s alma mater in addition to other family members’, dating back to the 1950’s.
In a 2017 interview with Grambling State News, Stevie shared what it’s like to be siblings on campus.
“It’s awesome being a triplet. When you tell people you are triplets, it’s like you are a celebrity. You’re famous,” he said. “They don’t believe it until they see all three faces.”
Stevie, a biology major who hopes to become a physician, shared that the doctors he saw tending to his grandmother were his catalyst for wanting to go into medicine.
“They were straightforward, but also endlessly concerned and compassionate,” the eldest triplet said of the doctors that helped his grandmother recover after her knee replacement surgery. “This gave me a greater appreciation for the medical profession. I decided it was my purpose in life to give back. I’m here because of those health professionals. I feel that it is my time to give back.”
Steven, the middle triplet and second biology major in the trio, aspires to become an an anesthesiologist and wants to integrate himself into a sector that historically lacks diversity.
“There’s not a lot of African-American males in the medical field,” he said. “In the next generation or decade or so, we need those Black role models in medicine. Without [them], where would the medical field be? Who will advocate for the culture, the people, or the community?”
According to the Association of American Medical Doctors, Black men make up less than 3% of physicians.
Stevie continued to elaborate on the importance of representation, especially when it comes to Black patients trusting their doctors.
“Representation matters. More importantly, Black health matters, and a lot of Black people don’t trust the medical field,” Stevie said, referring to the Tuskegee experiment. “[Some Black people] don’t have faith in doctors. My passion is to be a medical doctor because too many people of color and [in] different ethnic groups are dying because they aren’t being heard. This field is in need and I want to be a part of that. I want to be able to help heal this world.”
The brothers will walk on April 15, feeling accomplished in their own right as trailblazers for their hometown community.
“[When we graduated high school] we saw it. When we all left [for college] they were very, very emotional but us graduating and actually separating – I think it’s going to be bittersweet, but they’ll be happy because we’ll be third [generation] legacy,” said Steven. “Our motto when we left Winnfield was to set the standard for other African American minorities in our town. [For] so many young students in Winnfield, they don’t have that role model to look up to. We set that standard to let them know it can be done.”
Their mother, D’Juana Wilson, shared that the day her son’s graduate will be filled with emotion, referring to the moment as “bittersweet.”
“It’s gonna be a bittersweet day,” said Mrs. Wilson. “It’s going to be some shouting and crying going on that day!”
Stevie is slated to attend a virtual MCAT prep program at the University of Miami, and Steven will be taking a gap year before attending medical school.