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Campus & Community

Terp Twins Times 2

From Family Dinners to Built-in Besties, 4 Sisters Share Benefits of Attending UMD Together

By Karen Shih ’09

Four Edwards sisters in red Terps gear hugging in pairs

Clockwise from top left: Kamryn Edwards '27, Amira Edwards '25, Britne Edwards '27 and Jade Edwards '24. The two sets of twins are from the same family—and are all attending UMD at the same time.

Photos by Riley N. Sims Ph.D '23; childhood photo courtesy of Edwards family

Arms raised triumphantly, with “FlyGyrlz” emblazoned across her chest and sparkly shadow framing her eyes, 9-year-old Kamryn Edwards ’27 beams in a family photo as she’s lifted high in the air by her three sisters.

That’s how it’s always been for the Edwards girls. The two sets of fraternal twins, born less than two years apart, have supported each other in everything, from cheerleading competitions to a specialty high school program to now all attending the University of Maryland.

“We always had that best friend everywhere we went. Even if we didn’t know anyone in the room, we had our twin. That gave us an advantage,” said Jade ’24.

She and Amira ’25, both elementary education majors, are the older pair, while Britne ’27, an animal science and agriculture business management major, and Kamryn, a kinesiology major, are younger. All attended the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College for high school (part of UMD’s dual enrollment Middle College Program) so they enrolled with 60 credits under their belts. That’s put Jade on track to graduate in May, after just two years on campus (though she will stay for a master’s degree), and Amira to finish next spring.

A childhood photo of sisters doing a cheerleading move, three holding one up in the air; a present-day version of the same photo

Twins run in the Edwards family; identical cousins and great-aunts dot both sides of their family tree. About 3% of births in the U.S. are twins, and families with one set are more likely to have another. But it was still a shock to their dad, former Terp Kwa’bena Edwards, when during wife Wenona’s second pregnancy the doctor told him they were having not one more kid, but two.

“They said he passed out!” Kamryn said. “He was like, ‘How do I handle four girls?’”

The solution: Put them in high-energy activities, including soccer, track and cheerleading. Growing up in southern Prince George’s County, they frequently attended competitions at UMD, including Cole Field House.

“I loved seeing Testudo everywhere and thinking, ‘Wow, this is the place to be,” said Amira. “Our parents were always pointing to Maryland, so they love that we’re all in one place.”

[A Twin-Twin Situation in Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Working Side by Side at UMD, Quynh and Thu Nguyen Use Big Data, Technology to Study Health Disparities]

Now, she, Jade and Kamryn have flipped their way onto the sidelines as UMD cheerleaders, traveling to pump up the women’s basketball team at the NCAA tournament and rooting for other sports like volleyball and wrestling throughout the school year.

“It’s brought me some of my closest friends—they’re like extra sisters,” said Amira. The four siblings hope to all cheer together in two years, once Britne finishes her certificate from UMD’s Institute for Applied Agriculture and becomes eligible to join. She’ll have a leg up: She’s already learned plenty of moves and follows along in the stands, and she’s become buddies with many on the team thanks to her sisters.

Putting up their pom-poms isn’t the only time they spend together on campus. They have a joint study session every other week at McKeldin Library, and they have dinner together every Sunday. Sometimes, their parents make it even more of a family affair.

“Our dad loves sports, so we had to stop him from asking us for tickets and coming every weekend!” said Amira. He was on campus so much, “he knows Sunday is orange chicken day at the dining hall.”

There are obvious perks of attending college with a twin, like having a built-in roommate. It’s also been helpful to rely on Kamryn’s growing knowledge of sports medicine for aches and pains after grueling practices, and for Jade and Amira to have an early-morning carpool buddy as student teachers at the same school. But beyond the practical, the best part remains the emotional support they can’t get anywhere else.

“I can talk to them about anything and share stuff I’d never share with other people,” said Britne.

One Edwards sister lays across the other three sisters' laps, all wearing red Terps gear
From left: Amira Edwards '25, Jade Edwards '24, Britne Edwards '27; laying across, Kamryn Edwards '27

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