Empowering lives for 90 years!

Berkeley College Twin Graduates Speak About Excitement of Graduating Together on Good Morning America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 9, 2021
Contact: Chanel Donaldson
Senior Associate, Media Relations
973-200-1048
Chanel-Donaldso@BerkeleyCollege.edu
BERKELEY COLLEGE TWIN GRADUATES SPEAK ABOUT EXCITEMENT OF GRADUATING TOGETHER ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA
 
GMA3 Segment Highlights Reactions of Siblings When They Learned They Would Get a Second Chance to Experience Commencement In-Person After COVID-19 Restrictions in 2020 Prohibited Public Gatherings
“It was like a dream come true,” said one grad.

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Photo Caption: Berkeley College graduates from left, Myesha and Tyesha Wilson, fraternal twins from the Bronx, NY, who earned Bachelor’s degrees, and Ja’Von and Ja’Van Drakeford, identical twins from Haskell and Belleville, NJ, respectively, who received Associate’s degrees from Berkeley, are photographed at the College’s outdoor Commencement ceremony held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The siblings were featured on the third hour of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA3) to share what it was like to walk across the graduation stage after missing the opportunity for an in-person celebration in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Berkeley College graduates who missed out on the opportunity to walk across the graduation stage in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, got a second chance when Berkeley announced it would allow 2020 graduates to participate in the May 27, 2021 ceremony held at MetLife Stadium. For two sets of twins, Tyesha and Myesha Wilson, of the Bronx, NY, and Ja’Von and Ja’Van Drakeford, of Haskell and Belleville, NJ, that second chance also meant they got to experience the day with their siblings.

The Wilsons and the Drakefords were featured on the third hour of Good Morning America (GMA3) on Thursday, July 8, 2021, to share what the experience was like. Click here to watch the full segment.

Wilson Twins Overcome Tragedy
“Commencement is a huge milestone for us and an accomplishment for our whole family,” said Myesha Wilson, who suffered a debilitating injury to her spine during her sophomore year and almost left school because of it.

Tyesha was her fraternal twin’s main source of motivation to continue with her education. Encouraging and supporting Myesha took its toll however, and set Tyesha behind her sister in her anticipated graduation date.

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Photo Caption:
Tyesha Wilson (left) and Myesha Wilson (right), of the Bronx, NY, Berkeley College twin graduates who were featured on the third hour of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA3) on Thursday, July 8, 2021, described the joy of walking across the graduation stage together in 2021 after COVID-19 delayed an in-person ceremony in 2020.

Myesha completed a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies – Criminal Justice in 2020, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, she was only able to celebrate the day virtually. Myesha got a second chance to commemorate her accomplishment with Tyesha, who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in 2021, during the May 27 in-person Commencement ceremony.

“When the pandemic happened and I found out I was not going to be able to walk across the stage I kind of felt defeated,” said Myesha. “We found out through an email that we were graduating together. We pretty much jumped for joy.”

“It was just amazing. It was something we literally cannot forget,” added Tyesha.

Drakeford Twins Find Success Together
Identical twins Ja’Von and Ja’Van Drakeford initially went to colleges in separate states, but coincidentally had nearly identical experiences. Both struggled to find the determination to prioritize their studies.

After eventually enrolling at Berkeley College together in 2018, the two have now completed Associate in Applied Science degrees in Justice Studies – Criminal Justice.

“It was surreal because I would have never thought I would be in the position to have a college degree,” said Ja’Van. The brothers felt that the experience of taking classes together helped them find the drive to achieve more than they previously thought possible.

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Photo Caption: Ja’Von Drakeford (left), of Haskell, NJ, and identical twin Ja’Van Drakeford (right), of Belleville, NJ, Berkeley College graduates featured on the third hour of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA3) on Thursday, July 8, 2021, described the joy of walking across the graduation stage together in 2021 after COVID-19 delayed an in-person ceremony in 2020.

Like the Wilson twins, the brothers earned their degrees in different semesters. Ja’Von completed his coursework at the end of 2019, which would have made him eligible to walk at Commencement in 2020. Ja’Van finished his courses at the end of 2020.

“When I found out we were able to walk together it was like a dream come true,” said Ja’Van. “I was just so happy being able to share that moment with him,” added Ja’Von.

Click here to read more about the Wilson twins and the Drakeford twins.

Berkeley College celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2021. The theme commemorating this milestone is “Empowering Lives for 90 Years!” Visit the 90th Anniversary webpage for more information.

About Berkeley College
Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,900 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for eight consecutive years. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

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Empowering lives for 90 years!