Thomasville sisters rank high
Little separates Charity and Chelsea Oliver.
Born 11 months apart yet classmates throughout their scholastic careers, the Oliver sisters have a knack for reaching their goals together.
While their personalities may differ, Chelsea being more laid back than her determined and focused older sister, the two have managed to share a similar path of academic success. Charity and Chelsea Oliver are finishing their high school careers both ranked in the top 10 of their class and combined have received more than $1 million in scholarship money.
“She sets the bar high and I feel like if I didn't have her I would not achieved what I have,” Chelsea, 17, said of her older sister. “I feel like if I did not have her I wouldn't be where I am. I'm very grateful for that.”
Although Chelsea feels people put her in Charity’s shadow, when the school day is over and the two are home, they still are sisters who care about each very much.
“It doesn't affect me,” said Chelsea. “I just see me as being me. I don't try to compete with her. To me, if it happens, it happens. I don't try to kill myself over it. To me, the competition isn't important. What is important is that I'm not going to slack off because people are going to put me in her shadow anyway.”
Charity admits getting a little competitive when it comes to grades. The drive to keep up with her younger sister helps Charity work even harder to reach her goals.
“Working with her challenges me even more,” Charity said. “If she does great, I want to do the same thing or better. At the end of the day, we're still sisters and we love each other.”
Come the fall, Charity and Chelsea will be apart for the first time. Charity is heading to Wake Forest to major in computer science and mathematics. Chelsea chose Lenoir-Rhyne from a list of more than a dozen schools and plans to major in business and Spanish.
Charity feels the break may turn out to be a good thing.
“I’m going to miss her but when I get into school I'll probably realize that we needed the separation so when we get back together it's going to be great,” said Charity. “We have a lot to talk about with college.”
Chelsea said going to the same college as her sister never was an option, as she wants to one day open her own financial planning firm. With Hickory less than an hour away, Chelsea isn’t too worried about being away from home or Charity.
“We’re only 45 minutes apart,” Chelsea said. “Of course I’ll miss her. I love hearing her say 'guess what happened to me in school today’.”
Charity and Chelsea’s accomplishments both in the classroom and out practically mirror each other. Charity played basketball, soccer, softball, cross country and track. Chelsea was a varsity cheerleader for three years and also played soccer and ran cross country. Both are members of the National Honors Society and National Technical Honors Society. Charity is a member of the JROTC program at Thomasville High School and received $709,784 in scholarships. Chelsea was awarded 15 different scholarships totalling $595,656.
“They've been focused since they were freshmen,” THS Principal Deboy Beamon said. “They had a goal in mind about academics and being involved and still managed to be top 10 in the class. We're very proud of them. They're a great example of it's not where you start but where you finish.”