Natasha and Nataya Williamson are 16-year-old fraternal twins on opposite sides of the same coin, having nothing and everything in common. The girls disagree … while finishing each other’s sentences. They are both bright, good-natured, thoughtful and deep. Natasha is mature, collected and very down to earth; Nataya is eager, playful and upbeat. Natasha is seemingly pleased to be 35 minutes older than Nataya. “I can’t stand it,” says Nataya. “She really thinks she’s older than me … If you want to get really really technical, she was born in the AM and I was born in the PM.”
Carrie Jones Ross: Where were you guys born and raised?
Natasha: We were pretty much raised here.
Nataya: We were born in Long Island, I guess we were raised here.
Both: Kingston High School.
Natasha: Eleventh grade
Nataya: Tenth grade. I had reading problems reading and stayed back in first grade.
CJR: Favorite subject in school?
Natasha: English and science. I like the teachers. I like the materials. It’s interesting.
Nataya: I like biology and science. I like learning about the earth and how everything comes together and works.
CJR: Most dreadful class in school?
Natasha: Gym and pool. I like all my other classes, just not those two. I can tolerate gym, but I don’t like getting my hair wet in pool, I can’t stand it.
Nataya: English. I just hate reading.
CJR: Other siblings, family?
Both: We have a sister and brother, Shakima, 22, and Raymond, 21.
CJR: How do you respond when people comment that you don’t look like twins?
Natasha: We are used to it. A lot of people question us and argue with us. I just tell them we are sisters, because they will never believe us.
Nataya: I like the word “twins.” We are actually closer. I wish we were identical.
CJR: Do you have any special communication, language or connection as twins?
Natasha: If something weird is happening, we look at each other and instantly know and start laughing. If she’s in a situation, like in trouble, I can just feel it. Even if she’s not there. We used to finish each other’s sentences or say things at the same time. Our friends would be like, “Wow you guys really are twins.”
Nataya: We feel each other. Every time they announce an emergency at school she thinks it’s me. She worries about me. Like when she is sad, or in trouble, say, if she is crying, I can feel it. I don’t like seeing my sister cry.
CJR: Are you guys friends?
Natasha: No. She thinks we are!
Nataya: Yes. We ARE friends, we are close.
CJR: What do you want to do when you’re done with high school?
Natasha: Go to college to be a dentist. I want to go to Atlanta, Georgia.
Nataya: Go to college and be a nurse. I want to do everything that a doctor does. I want to go there to Georgia too. I am going to be her roommate.
CJR: When you were a kid, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
Natasha: I wanted to be a famous singer.
Nataya: I wanted to be a heart surgeon. [Natasha] wanted to be a therapist.
CJR: If you could do anything in the world, and know you would be totally successful, what would that be?
Natasha: A party promoter.
Nataya: A therapist.
CJR: What’s the difference between those dreams, and what you are actually going to do after college?
Natasha: Nowadays they are looking for younger people as a party promoter.
Nataya: If you are a famous person you are not guaranteed anything for life. You can lose all your money. But if you have a job, especially a job you love, you can do that and make money for the rest of your life. You can always take care of yourself.
CJR: What is a summer day like for you guys?
Natasha: I had to go to summer school and then work. I took global and science. I worked at the Queens Galley, I did anything they told me to do.
Nataya: Sleep, eat but then I would clean my room, go outside, go to the library, walk around with friends, wait for my sister to get back from summer school and walk her to her job. And then watch TV and eat some more food. I like food. A lot.
CJR: What do you guys do after school?
Natasha: We go to the Hodge and Boys & Girls Club. We hang out or do our homework at both places. Our friends go to Boys & Girls Club.
Nataya: We have been going to the Hodge almost all our life but we just started going to the Boys & Girls Club. Both have fun trips, both have homework rooms with computers, but the difference is the B&G Club is a lot bigger; they have a gym, a teen room upstairs and do a lot more stuff. But it’s fun both places. The Hodge center goes on a lot of trips.
CJR: What are things you guys deal with that grown-ups don’t ever seem to notice or care about?
Natasha: I feel like some adults don’t care a lot of times. There’s probably a handful who do care about the kids … People say “our kids” a lot but they don’t ask them what they want. They should change the school budget for more stuff. They should also have fixed up the high school a long time ago.
Nataya: In general, I don’t think the grownups really look into asking kids what their opinions are. They say, “Oh, this is what our kids want” but they don’t really ask, they just assume. They need to get more youth involved in stuff like in Kingston and around town. Our school, let’s speak about it … They never ask us. When we tell them, they don’t listen … there’s a lot of bugs. There’s a lot of cockroaches. I have seen the cockroaches coming out of the school. I have seen them in the hallway, in my class. You are not supposed to step on them because they carry their babies on their back and the babies can get on the bottom of your shoes and into your house. There’s a lot of problems in our high school.
CJR: Do you guys feel burnt out on the topic of bullying?