Sometimes seeing double is a good thing. Friends and teachers of Aidan and Bryce Spradlin might feel that way.
These two young scholars and athletes are identical twins.
Now, in addition to accumulating academic and athletic awards, they are also 2018 recipients of Connestee Falls scholarships.
Aidan and Bryce were born in Athens, Ga. Their parents are both educators, and they have an older brother, Caleb. When the twins were in first grade, their parents moved the family to Monte Verde, Costa Rica, so that they could experience life in another culture. The boys attended Cloud Forest School, where their parents taught. After a couple of years, the family moved back to Athens, but homesick for a mountainous rainforest environment, the Spradlins soon moved to Brevard.
It is here that Aidan and Bryce began their remarkable academic and athletic careers.
Both boys attended Brevard schools. They give a lot of credit to the TIME 4 Real Science program for encouraging and supporting their interest in science. While participating in the TIME program, Aidan and Bryce performed original research projects, including one on the deadly brain eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. As a result of their interests and their enthusiasm for science, both boys attended the 2017 summer program at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics at Appalachian State University. There, Aidan's project involved testing the effects of paper mill effluent on the aquatic health of rivers, while Bryce tested heavy metal concentrations from an abandoned copper mine's watershed and surrounding areas.
Now that they have their Connestee Falls scholarships, Aidan and Bryce are planning to attend Emory University and UNC Chapel Hill, respectively. Both hope to follow a pre-med track in order to do something they would enjoy as well as something that would benefit their community.
In the distant future, Aidan would like to do research in the Galapagos, and Bryce would like to return to Costa Rica. This summer will be filled with working at Keystone Camp, where their mother is the director, hanging out with friends, reading and getting ready for college.
For now, they had a word of advice for Brevard high school students: "High school kids need to find what they are passionate about. They need to keep looking for it and not be lazy. Keep looking!"
They also had some words for the many supporters of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program. Bryce said, "This scholarship gives me the opportunity to take my mind off financial needs and direct it toward the most important thing, learning!"