ST. PETERSBURG — When they look back on their past, JeNay and JeNel Yore sometimes forget about how they became the individuals they are today, especially since they are twins.
Growing up in the world today is difficult enough and especially when doing it by yourself. Now envision being a fraternal twin that looks identical to your younger sibling. Not only are you fighting to remember your own memories, but the memories of someone else.
“When my sister and I were little we used to love to go outside and run around and play all day,” said JeNel, the older of the twins. “There was nothing that we couldn’t do together and it didn’t matter what it was. Whether it was running, climbing trees or playing basketball, it seemed like there weren’t enough hours in the day for us to do everything we wanted to do.”
Managing time as siblings growing up has a new meaning as adults. There comes a time in your life when things become more challenging, even things like making friends. As a twin, JeNel discovered that many people want to be their friend because they were twins. It’s almost a two for one deal. The twins expressed feeling like they are sometimes under a microscope from the peers around them.
“One day, my sister was discussing her grade with one of her teachers in the hallway,” said JeNel. “My sister’s voice began to escalate due to her feeling like the teacher was trying to cheat her out of a grade that she deserved. Two or three hours later, I was getting asked around school if I was the crazy twin that screams at her teacher.”
For JeNay and JeNel, being a twin can sometimes be entertaining and annoying at the same time. For example, twins will always be asked the same basic questions: “If I hit you, will he/she feel it,” “Didn’t I just see you in other clothes,” “Why did your mom make your names so similar,” and “How does it feel to be a twin?”
Oftentimes, the glances alone make for laughter.
“Being a twin can be very hard when you are younger because the world is trying to make you be one person, or trying to split you up all of the time,” said JeNel. “It is difficult. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in life and my sister is trying to discover what she wants to do in life.”
Since the beginning of second grade, the twins’ mother made sure they never attended the same class together, not wanting them to cause trouble. Still today, bosses, coworkers, family and friends still say, “When are you two ever going to separate?”
When they were younger, the girls found it hard being seen as one person all of the time. They purposely made a point to try and be totally different from one another.
As they have grown, the twins look back at all they have shared together. They both have been in the Air Force reserves for four years, members of Word of Life Church, where they both are Ruth coordinators for Naomi Titus 2 covenant Alliance (NT2CA) who encourages women, transform generations and offer hope to women in and outside the Pinellas County community. They are currently on the core team for NT2CA and have been for three years.
The twins are both mentors at Northeast and Largo High Schools. In college, JeNel was the president of Student Veterans of America while Je’Nay served as treasurer. They both participated in Future Business Leaders of America, both graduated from St. Leo University, Dade City and both are currently attending Webster University in St. Petersburg. Je’Nay is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Psychology and JeNel is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management.
“The best thing about being a twin is you always have a best friend and know that you are so special God made a best friend especially for you,” said JeNel. “There will be fun times, frustrating times and times you just need a listening ear, but you have to remember that you will always have a friend that will always be there for you during those times.”