RICHARDSON, Texas – The Tran sisters arrive at school wearing jeans and matching baseball shirts emblazoned with “Senior Class of 2017.”
“Hello,” they said with pitch-perfect singsong unison as they greet a smiling receptionist.
The 18-year-old triplets don’t have any classes Thursday, instead they are getting ready for the evening's main event – their high school graduation.
It’s a milestone that almost didn’t happen. After their parents separated in Vietnam, the girls arrived in Nevada in 2012 with their father. When the family moved to North Texas in 2015, they were overwhelmed, and all three dropped out.
“We were just overwhelmed from everything,” said middle sister, Tran. “We shutdown. We didn’t want to go out, we didn’t want to talk to anyone.
“I would just stay in bed all day long,” added youngest sister, Ngan. “I was so afraid of facing the world again.”
“At one point we just said, we cannot disappoint our mom anymore,” said oldest sister, Han.
The sisters were out of school for about six months before enrolling at Evolution Academy Charter school which serves at-risk youth. It’s there the sisters went from drop outs to the head of the class together graduating first, second and third out of 148 graduates.
In just a little over a year, they are taking home top honors. Middle sister Tran is the valedictorian, eldest sister Han is the salutatorian and Ngan ranks No. 3. Their GPA’s were just one one-hundredth of a point apart.
“Education is the greatest equalizer,” said Cynthia Trigg, the school’s founder and CEO. “All students are in need of an education.”
Around 75,000 students dropped out of high school last year in the state of Texas alone, Trigg said. Nationwide, there’s around 1-million students who drop out annually.
“Drop outs are our citizens and that matters. If they’re not successful they’re going to struggle,” Trigg said. “[The Trans] are smart, funny, witty, determined and just been a pleasure. We know amazing things are to come for all three.”
Speaking of threes, the girls are pretty much inseparable. Where there’s one, there’s two more. All three work as cashiers at an Asian grocer and all three plan to attend Richland College this fall. They finish each other’s sentences, and have easy laughs.
“We’re triplets, we always come in a set of three, it’s like a bonus,” said Han. “If I’m there, they’re gonna be there, so we do everything together.”
With the Tran sisters, three is always the perfect crowd.