Identical Twins Driven To Improve Lives, Build Careers Helping Others
Feb. 7, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt
|Varion and Darion Walton are senior business majors who have worked to rise above their childhood circumstances. Both are extremely involved at SHSU and are planning careers that will allow them to help others in the ways they needed help growing up. —Photo by Brian Blalock|
It’s safe to say identical twins Darion and Varion Walton are close.
The 20 year olds shared common challenges while growing up in a low-income, single-parent home in Jewett. Both brothers committed to building better futures for themselves through studies and hard work. Since then, they’ve been working toward that goal together.
Darion and Varion, the first in their family to go to college, are excelling as business administration majors at Sam Houston State University. In early February, the seniors were tapped into Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor fraternity, by the College of Business Administration. Only 80 students were invited out of more than 2,000 business administration majors.
The twins also have been nominated by the university to be student representatives for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
“We’re so proud and so blessed,” Darion said.
Darion and Varion say they’ll never forget how difficult life was for their mom, Sophia Wilson, while she was raising the twins and their two older sisters.
“Our mother had to work multiple jobs just to put food on the table,” Varion said.
The twins, who both have asthma, couldn’t do everything they wanted growing up, but both played in their high school band, earned good grades and joined multiple student clubs. And both were raised with a strong Christian faith.
At age 16, they got their first jobs working together at the local Brookshire Brothers market. Both would be promoted to management positions.
After graduating from high school, the twins enrolled at nearby Navarro College in Corsicana as scholarship students. Each took 18-credit hours a semester while working four jobs: as school ambassadors, resident advisers, interns at the student center and peer mentors. After three semesters, they both graduated magna cum laude.
“What really motivated us was seeing our mother struggle,” Varion said. “She always told us she wanted us to have a better life than she had.”
The twins, who were able to transfer their scholarship to SHSU, have continued to maintain high grades while taking a heavy class load. Both are involved in multiple student organizations and honor societies on campus.
Darion, for instance, is president of Golden Key International Honour Society. He is an ambassador for the College of Business Administration and a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Leadership Cohort.
|Active particpants in College of Business Administration organizations and events, Darion (left) and Varion Walton grab a bite to eat after the COBA alumni career panel on Jan. 5. —Photo by Brian Blalock|
Varion is president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and is involved with the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Society of Human Resource Development.
Darion and Varion also have found time for service to others, a priority for them since junior high school. Since becoming Bearkats, the twins have volunteered for the Huntsville Hospitality House ministry, Good Shepherd Mission, Faith Family Church and for SHSU’s Bearkat All Paws In day of service, among other programs.
While both twins plan to continue their educations after earning their bachelor’s degrees, they do have different career paths in mind.
Darion wants to be a professor at a small university, hoping to offer students the same kind of encouragement educators have offered him and Varion over the years.
“I want to relate the lessons to the real world for students,” Darion said.
Varion’s goal is a career in hospital administration.
“We were hospitalized for asthma issues when we were growing up,” he said. “There were times we had to miss days of classes for breathing treatments. That’s what motivated me. I want to help people facing the same issues that I faced.”
If Darion and Varion were to be given an opportunity to talk to other students who are the first in their families to attend college, they would recommend making careful choices.
“There are different cultures and different opportunities, good and bad,” Varion said. “Always choose the right thing.
“They’ll be challenges, too,” he said. “Use them to build yourself up and make yourself a better person.”
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