When triplets Aleena, Alyssa, and Aniyah Butler learned they all were accepted into their high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS), they breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Triplets are rare. Fewer than .001% of pregnancies result in a birth of triplets or higher-order multiples, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even less likely is the scenario that all three girls would meet the criteria for selection into NHS.

“Before applying, “we were nervous,” Alyssa says. “We worried that not all three of us would get in.” After being accepted, “we were really grateful and honored.”

The Butlers were inducted into the NHS chapter at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, IN, this spring.

Though these 15-year-old sisters have many differences, they share one important characteristic: a commitment to their schoolwork, which they attribute to their upbringing.

“My parents have always pushed me to do my best, to the point they knew I could do better than what I was doing,” Aleena says. “They were always pushing me outside my comfort zone to accomplish things I didn’t think I could do.”

However, each sister has a different favorite school subject. Alyssa: language arts.
Aniyah: Spanish. Aleena: geometry.

“Yes, we are triplets,” Alyssa says, “but at the same time, we are individuals—we have similarities, we have things we have in common, but at the same time, we are unique.”

The sisters differ on which of the four NHS pillars—character, leadership, scholarship, and service—they identify with the most.

From left to right, Aniyah, Aleena, and Alyssa Butler at their school’s NHS induction ceremony in May.

For Aniyah, it’s scholarship. “Middle school is when I got really serious about my grades and knowing that can really impact my future,” she says.

Alyssa says she relates most to the leadership pillar. “I think I do a good job showing leadership skills, especially in school.”

And for Aleena, character is the most important. “My character says a lot about me,” she says. “It can affect the way people see me. I try to portray a nice, upbeat character and stay responsible.”

The Butler triplets do have interests beyond academics. For instance, they enjoy watching basketball together. But few things detract from their focus on school and preparing for the future. And it’s nice to have two built-in companions who share common goals.

“We are each other’s best friends,” Aleena says. “We have each other.”

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