GRAMBLING, La. (KSLA) - Triplets, Stevie, Steven, and Stephon Wilson, are set to graduate from Grambling State University the week of April 12, carrying on the tradition as fifth generation graduates from the university; their family has attended Grambling since the 1950s. All three grew up in Winnfield, La.
Stevie Wilson, the firstborn, says he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Grambling State University. He was a member of the Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band and was involved in several other organizations.
“My time at Grambling has been amazing,” Stevie said. “It’s been like nothing else. Sure, it was tiring and I would doubt myself at times, but I kept pushing myself forward. I’ve learned how to prioritize my time. I’ve learned to not care what others say and to just keep on moving along and doing the right thing, having a positive mindset and not allowing others to steal that. I’ve continued to stay positive and stay true to myself.”
After graduating, Stevie will attend a virtual Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prep program with the University of Miami in preparation for taking the MCAT. After, he plans on applying to medical school next cycle.
“It feels awesome,” Stevie said about graduating. “It feels like a relief to be able to go out into the world and make a difference.“
According to Grambling, the biology major was first inspired to pursue a career in medicine when his grandmother had bilateral knee replacement surgery. He watched and saw the compassion and attentiveness of the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who helped her heal. He says he will work towards changing the distrust of doctors in the African American community.
“You often see Black entertainers and sports stars, so why not doctors?” Stevie asked. “We need doctors. We need Black doctors. They are the ones making a difference. It makes it feel like I could be the change and we need that. I want to be that difference and help heal this world, heal this country, break those barriers regarding health disparities, not just people of our color, but of all colors, of all races. I want them to know they will be taken care of and trust that I will do the right thing with their life in my hands.”
“Representation matters. More importantly, Black health matters, and a lot of Black people don’t trust the medical field,” said Stevie, referring to the Tuskegee experiment. “[Some people in the African American community] 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.”
To those thinking of attending Grambling or potentially pursuing a career in the medical field, he says it’s not easy, but worth it.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Stevie said. “Just know you can do it. Continue to believe in yourself and do not give up. Don’t let anyone tell you what you cannot do because you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.”
Steven, the middle of the Wilson triplets, was very active on campus, serving in the Student Government Association (SGA) the last four years. He says his time at Grambling was nothing short of amazing.
“Coming in as a nervous, shy freshman who didn’t know anyone, but was still 45 minutes from home, it was great,” Steven said. “I served in student leadership in SGA all four years and being able to meet big name people like Magic Johnson, the head of AT&T, meeting those people just shows you are somebody. Like the university’s motto says, ‘the true place where everybody is somebody.’ My freshman year, I applied for the freshman vice president position, ended up getting it, and was eventually appointed to freshman president in my spring semester. The experience for me, serving in student leadership, was phenomenal being an advocate for the student body and getting to meet with the faculty and administration to discuss things important to the students.”
After graduating, the biology major says he will take a gap year to get some more clinical studies and gain experience before applying to medical school to become an anesthesiologist. Like his brother, Stevie, Steven is also emphatic about minority representation in the health industry.
“I interned my senior year of high school and was able to shadow several different doctors in Winn Parish,” Steven said. “They took us through these various departments and one day took us to surgery. I got to stand behind the scenes and see what an anesthesiologist does. I thought to myself, ‘This is something I would be very interested in.’ Today, there are not many African American males in the medical field. I think during this time, amid the pandemic, there is a very high need for African American men in medicine.”
Steven says graduating alongside his brothers is special for him and his family.
“It’s so exciting and bittersweet,” Steven said. “We started in the womb together, went through school together, and now that we are taking different paths, it’s bitter sweet, but I know by God and his covering we will go on to do great things. My brothers will be just a phone call away. We are just following the paths He has laid out for us. We want to set the standards for not only our family, but for our community, so when students graduate from high school or younger children in elementary school see us, they see role models. They see we came through Winn Parish, went through the school system, went to college and finished college, and are moving on to their next step in life. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. The beauty is there. Now go and achieve.”
For the youngest Wilson triplet, Stephon, he says while Grambling wasn’t his first choice, it was the right choice.
“It’s been an amazing tradition,” Stephon said. “Every year, we would go to homecoming. Coming here was one of the best choices I have made in my life because of the Black culture. I wasn’t aware of a lot of Black history; it wasn’t something we were taught in school. To be able to come to an HBCU and learn more about our culture and the history of Grambling State University, I have enjoyed every opportunity I have had here.”
He says he has been inspired by many people over the last four years.
“President Rick Gallot, Martin Lemelle [executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Grambling], Jovan Hackley, Dr. Wade, Dr. Ponton, Gavin Hamms, several other people,” Stephon said. “A lot of those people inspired me to be a successful young man.”
The double major in management and computer information systems was very involved on campus.
“It started my sophomore year,” Stephon said. “I started out as the assistant director of transportation. While helping run that program, I was selected to represent the University in Chicago for the Chicago Classic. I was also able to go to Washington, D.C. and represent the university at the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute. A year later, I was able to represent the university again in Washington, D.C. for the Leadership Institute and go back to Chicago a couple weeks later to represent at the Private Label Manufacturers Association. I’ve had so many great opportunities to travel, meet students, and handle issues. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.”
Stephon is currently working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and will transition to a permanent position in the next few weeks. He says down the road, he would like to start his own business and eventually move to Washington, D.C. to get into politics.
He says being able to graduate with his brothers is a blessing and tells those who might attend Grambling in the future to never give up.
“I didn’t think it would happen, but I am so glad it did,” Stephon said. “Never give up on anything. When they offer you an opportunity, take it. I couldn’t pass up all the opportunities given to me and they have made me the successful man I am today. If you feel down and the work is overwhelming, press on, because you will make it. The university motto is ‘the place where everybody is somebody’ and that is so true. I have achieved so much.”
The Wilson triplets are being honored in their hometown of Winnfield after graduating with a drive-by parade.
Watch the full interview with the Wilson Triplets on KSLA News 12 This Morning: