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Twins Amber (left) Ashley Estes Tinley Park High School plan major biological studies University Chicago next school year.  |

Twins Amber (left) and Ashley Estes, of Tinley Park High School, plan to major in biological studies at the University of Chicago next school year. | Supplied photo by Katie Udstuen

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Updated: May 22, 2014 6:09AM



Ashley and Amber Estes, seniors at Tinley Park High School, are identical twins in every way.

They look alike and act alike. Their tastes are identical and so are their goals.

So as the date for graduation draws closer, along with what for some would be the prospect of separating for the first time and going to different schools, they have made the decision to continue their educations as they have done all their lives — side by side.

Come next school year, the girls, 18, will head for the University of Chicago, where they are looking to major in biological studies.

“We are both looking to go into the pre-med program,” Ashley said.

“Right now, we’re not 100 percent sure, but something in the medical field. Maybe we’ll become doctors,” Amber said. “I think we have always figured we’d go to the same college because I can’t see any other way. We help each other a lot. We try to explain things to each other and make things easier for school.”

“We just have all the same interests and always have,” Ashley said. “Going to the same school was a deliberate choice. We are so close that it would have been hard to go to different colleges and it wouldn’t have been the same.”

Throughout their high school years, these two have led parallel lives. They are involved in mathletes, science club, National Honor Society and competitive cheerleading. Both are members of the peer jury at the Tinley Park Police Department, where they assign community service hours to first-time offenders.

“They are identical in every sense of the word, from their grade-point average, class rank, class schedule, ACT score, favorite music and so on,” Tinley Park High School spokeswoman Katie Udstuen said. “I’ve heard them say in the past that one of the reasons they’re so equal is because they are not competitive with one another. Instead, if one of them achieves something, whether it’s a cheerleading skill or an ACT score, she works with the other until they are both at the same level. Their sisterhood is truly amazing.”

Do they diverge in any way?

“If we do, it is something that is minor or not that big a deal,” Ashley said.

“That’s right,” Amber said.

Ashley’s favorite classes are math and science.

“Right now, I’m in chemistry and it is interesting to me to find out how everything works,” she said.

“I like math and science, too,” Amber said. “Activity-wise, I have a lot of fun at mathletes. I have a love/hate relationship with cheerleading. Part of me loves the sport aspect but it can be really stressful and I hate it. But in the end, I always love it.”

Both Ashley and Amber agree that their biggest mentors are their parents, Patricia and Robert Estes, of Tinley Park.

“My parents have been very supportive as well as my teachers,” Amber said. “When we told our teachers we were accepted at University of Chicago, they were ecstatic for us.”

“Our parents support whatever makes us happy,” Ashley said. “If we want the same thing, they will support that, too.”

Now they are eager to get on with life and are confident they will succeed with each other’s help.

“I think that I’m naturally an ambitious person,” Amber said. “If I don’t work hard, I won’t succeed. I also do like learning about new things, so I think that keeps me focused, too.”

“I’m the same way,” Ashley said. “If I don’t stay determined or motivated, I won’t succeed and it won’t be worth it. I’m very excited about college. I can’t wait.”

“I’m excited, too,” Amber said. “I keep thinking and it seems very surreal at the moment so going there will be amazing.”



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