Jackie Thompson made history about 18 years ago giving birth to the first black sextuplets ever in Washington, D.C., and the family celebrated another milestone Friday.
Two of the surviving five sextuplets are preparing for their high school graduation and have garnered much public support and attention. But the widespread support spawned from an unlikely source.
Jessica Avo, 16, saw a story in the newspaper describing the disparity in treatment of the Thompsons compared to a white family in a similar situation. The white family received much more support, according to Jackie Thompson, so Avo set out to change that.
She rallied her classmates and supplied the family with strollers, diapers and a van. When media caught on, the story caused a storm of media attention which has yet to disappear.
“I still get a lot of attention. When people hear we are quintuplets, they are like, ‘What? I heard about you,’” said Stella Thompson, one of the five siblings.
This likely won’t be the last graduation the Thompsons celebrate. The remaining three siblings are set to graduate high school next year.
Howard University has also offered scholarships to the Thompsons once they get there.
They’re resilient, Avo said. “They are are smart. They are strong, loving, warm and so appreciative.”