Jamilah, Hadiyah and Ayannah Page, known as the Page sisters, made headlines recently when they graduated with their respective degrees. The three sisters from Alabama have already earned a total of five degrees. All of them are Tuskegee alumnae who making a difference in the world.
Jamilah, the eldest of the three, received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition sciences and dietetics. She now has a Ph.D. from Auburn University, according to Black News Channel. Hadiyah, the middle sister, graduated with her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2019 before obtaining her Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ayannah, who is the youngest of the three, graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in biology.
While celebrating their feat on social media, the sisters highlighted the fact that their parents taught them the importance of education at a young age. “I feel like our mom, well both of our parents, really valued education. But our mom, especially because her mom graduated with her Juris doctorate at 66 years old. So our grandma was very influential in teaching us the importance of education,” Ayannah said.
The sisters lost their dad when they were young but they still feel his presence in their lives. “Our father passed away when we were little, so he didn’t have the chance to teach us too much about [education], but while he was here, I did feel like he was influential in instilling those values in us,” Ayannah said.
The sisters were also grateful to Tuskegee University, a private historically Black university in Tuskegee, Alabama, for giving them all the support they needed to succeed. The school did not only motivate them but supported them financially.
“They also taught me that I’m so worth the investment,” Jamilah said, noting that a dean paid her remaining balance every semester when she struggled financially. Ayannah also got scholarship money from an academic adviser. The sisters are proud of attending an HBCU, they said.
“Being in that type of environment helps to cultivate young students into believing in themselves,” Ayannah said. “I feel like HBCUs help you to see different types of Black people.”
Jamilah, while at Auburn, realized that she was often the only Black person in her classes. She said her White mates were shocked she wanted to achieve so much as she worked towards getting her Ph.D. “I had to kind of assert myself on why I’m here and I was confident in myself because of where I came from. I was confident in what I could do because I was pushed so hard at Tuskegee.”
And pushing so hard has been worth it for the sisters. Jamilah has so far accepted a position as an assistant professor of nutrition with a tenure track at Berea College. She is also interested in community gardens how they impact wellness.
Hadiyah, who is a former Albert Schweitzer fellow, conducts mindfulness courses with students who have experienced trauma at Impact Family Counseling. She will also be heading to medical school at the Ross University School of Medicine in Barbados.
Ayannah’s interest is in cosmetic chemistry and she plans to open a salon and create products for hair, nails, and skincare or take a master’s in business.