Sometimes, life can be terrifying. War, famine, disasters – our fate is often hanging by a thread. Many unfortunate people roam the earth, trying to survive as best as they can. However, some of those unfortunate people are able to rise above their sufferings and, as the old cliche goes, are turning their lemons into a great lemonade.
A great example for that is the Yeckes triplets – Haley, Kassidy, and Sierra. They were born and grew up in Nevada, moving constantly across the state. The sisters’ life situation was almost catastrophic right from the start. Ever since they were little, the three siblings had to face more challenges and turmoils than most of the adults in the United States. The triplets’ bad fortune started right after their birth.
Their loving mother died when they were just 3 months old, leaving them to be raised solely by their father. While he did not care for them at all, they said that it still felt like home at the time. Unfortunately, the father was part of the local criminal activity and by that time was already mixed in shady business up to his neck. When the triplets reached the sixth grade, their father was arrested, sentenced and was sent to prison. Kassidy, Haley, and Sierra were forced to move away from their family home and they went to live with their grandmother and grandfather, a step that proved to be ill-fated for them.
They soon found out that their grandparents did not care for them, and they began to severely neglect the three sisters, often leaving them with no food. From this darkest of times, the only way you can go is up – and that is exactly what this three sisters had done. Here is the amazing story of the lives of these unique triplets – Kassidy, Haley, and Sierra.
Meet the Yeckes
All of us know that life can be hard and unfair to many people. However, some of them, as the cliche goes, are turning their lemons into lemonade. A great example for that is the Yeckes triplets, Haley, Kassidy, and Sierra. Originally from Nevada, The sisters’ life situation was almost catastrophic right from the start. Ever since they were little, the three siblings had to face more challenges and turmoils than most of the adults in the United States.
Trouble from birth
The triplets’ bad fortune started right after their birth. Their loving mother died when they were just 3 months old, leaving them to be raised solely by their father. While he did not care for them at all, they said that it still felt like home at the time. Unfortunately, the father was part of the local criminal activity and by that time was already mixed in shady business up to his neck.
Father is arrested
When the triplets reached the sixth grade, their father was arrested, sentenced and was sent to prison. Kassidy, Haley, and Sierra were forced to move away from their family home and they went to live with their grandmother and grandfather, a step that proved to be ill-fated for them. They soon found out that their grandparents did not care for them, and they began to severely neglect the three sisters, often leaving them with no food.
Their grandparents did not believe in formal education, and they were homeschooled until they were 8 years old. The siblings had to find a job at a local supermarket in order to support themselves and to buy necessities. They struggled hard to balance between work and school. The triplets subsequently moved from Pioche to Las Vegas to their father’s care when he was released from prison, but their situation was getting worse with every passing moment.
He would regularly leave them for weeks and even months, forcing Hailey, Kassidy, and Sierra to take care of themselves. This arrangement was also short lived when a violent incident occurred near their house one night. Three shots were fired at their house while their father was away, gladly causing no harm to the siblings. Apparently, these shots were related to his criminal activity, causing the local authorities to move them back to their grandparents’ care.
Sadly, the story about the Yeckes triplets father is not uncommon these days, as it matches the statistics. More than half of the prisoners in the United States are parents of children under age 18. Also, approximately 70 percent of the prisoners that were released are arrested again for a new crime within several years of release from jail. The state of Nevada itself is known for its high crime rate due to the state’s casinos.
Taking matter into their own hands
The second stint with their grandparents was even worse than before, as they were suffering again from severe negligence The siblings, now almost fully grown, decided to take their lives into their own hands and to support each other. This resulted in them moving away to live alone and to fully support themselves with no external help. No one in Nevada’s public education system had an idea about what these girls have been going through.
Failing at school
The triplets would live most of their youth caring for themselves, often living without food and clothing. When they arrived at Valley high school in Las Vegas, it was the last thing on their mind. While being students, the siblings were often act extremely defensive toward teachers and guidance counselors in their school. Meanwhile, they were missing and failing classes. That did not bother them, as they were kept to themselves and relied on each other.
Revealing their past
The siblings were eventually enrolled in a special program that opened up in their school called GEAR UP, whose purpose was to give extra care to students in need. While their relationships with the program were rocky at the beginning, the triplets grew closer to the GEAR UP program’s staff. Slowly, they began to reveal fragments of their horrible past and a difficult present, which gave a shock to everyone who heard their stories.
Although the numbers were against them, the triplets did not give up and chose to excel in their studies while supporting each other. Unfortunately, several U.S surveys from recent years show that there are over 1 million dropouts of high school every year in the United States alone. Due to this statistics, it’s a wonder that the Yeckes sisters managed to overcome their difficulties and to successfully graduate from high school.
Boosting their grades
Over time, their grades soared radically and they eventually all three of them graduated from High school with honors. The staff at Valley high school thinks highly of the Yeckes triplets and their staggering success. While they worked around the clock to help and provide for one another, they managed to earn almost 4.0 GPA, earning them an honor of excellence in school. Nevertheless, the triplets remained united all those years.
The staff loved them
The triplets soon earned their way into the high school staff’s hearts. During an interview, the social worker at Valley high school Sara Garcia called the sisters “little miracles”, saying that they had all the reasons in the world not to succeed but they chose to overcome those obstacles. According to the school counselor Leon Wright, all three of them are the model of excellence and a sheer example of rising above any challenge.
Orphans in the US
A recent census in the United States shows that there are currently 8 million children are living with a grandparent, which is an unprecedented ratio of one out of ten children in the country. Also, almost 3 million of those children are being solely cared by that same grandparent. These numbers soared during the 2008 world recession and remained high yet stable ever since. Children who are solely cared by their grandparent are more likely to live below the poverty line.
Thinking about college
The triplets achieved what they thought was impossible, and all of them were accepted to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. But despite their success, the future did not look bright for them. Many UNLV freshmen have already started moving into their dorms, leaving home for the first time. But for the three sisters, they had no place to go. They overcame the loss of their parents, stints of being homeless and hungry – these three defied all odds. Their incredible story of survival inspired a special documentary program that will secretly be there to film them on their big day.
The Yeckes siblings were accepted to The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which is considered as one of the best public, research-oriented universities both in the area and in the United States. The triplets emphasized that their choices of occupations were not accidental, but an exact product of their childhood. According to them, they felt that the only reasonable thing to do is to give back to society in the best way they can.
This is a story of perseverance like no other. A set of triplets defying all odds by simply relying on each other. During the Fox special documentary show, TV reporter Cassandra Jones was sent to Valley high school in Nevada to surprise the triplets’ during their graduation ceremony and to accompany them in one of the happiest days in their lives. Upon realizing that they were filmed, the sisters could not hide their shock and amazement.
Many sympathizers of the girls’ harsh story Chose to attend their graduation ceremony, cheering loudly from the crowd. A unique group of this fans is from the South Nevada Confederation of Clubs motor cycle club. Their chairman Chris Ashby recalled that the group had followed the girls for almost 9 months, helping them with basic groceries in order to survive. Upon seeing their fans cheering for them, the sisters could not hold their tears.
Donations and scholarships
Following their graduation from high school, they received $15,000 donation from Albertson’s, the supermarket they used to work in until that point. The donation is meant for their college expenses, which include books, food, and other products.The triplets then met with Crystal Price, a representative of America First Credit Union. Price informed the amazed sisters that the Utah-based bank will gladly pay for the full tuition and free gas during their college time.
A brand new car!
What the triplets did not know is that they were about to receive another present. Don Forman, the owner of Nissan United, has heard about the sisters’ life story and decided to contribute. When they stepped out of the graduation ceremony, he greeted the girls and gave each one of them a brand new Nissan SUV. The siblings were in shock and Haley, one of the triplets, recalled herself thinking that she’ll never reach the age of 18.
Their high school principal
Ramona Esparza, the principal of Valley High School, said that she is extremely proud of the triplets for achieving great things even when times were tough for them. She also said that the amazing opportunity that they have by going to college will definitely change their world and expand their horizons. Esparza gave herself the credit for advising the sisters regarding their academic path, eventually persuading Sierra to pursue a career in education.
A childhood friend
Michael Ellis, an old friend of the Yeckes Sisters since childhood, burst into tears when he learned that they were about to graduate from Valley high school. He said that he became so proud upon seeing them walking with their gowns during the graduation ceremony. Ellis also recalled watching them as they grow up, ever since they were at a really young age in Pioche, only to see them slowly becoming young, brilliant women.
Losing a parent
According to various reports, the mortality rate is relatively high regarding children who lose one of their parents at a young age. These finding show that there is a need for long-lasting and greater support for children and teenagers that are dealing with a death of one of their parents. In fact, they claim that there is a high chance of the offspring’s death in the course of twenty years following their parent’s death. We are so glad that these sisters beat those reports!
Thankful to the program
The Yeckes triplets did not miss the opportunity to thank their high school’s support system which aided them through their dark times, following the loss of both parent and their homelessness. All three of them admitted that the GEAR program helped to secure their future and probably saved their lives. Sierra also pointed out that if they were all single children or even with different ages, it would be a whole different story for them.
All three of them are currently attending the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on a full academic scholarship. Kassidy is studying to be a nurse, while Haley desires to be a social worker, and Sierra is training to be a teacher. The beautiful thing in their impossible story of success is the love the sisters have for each other. Haley said in an interview that her sisters are the closest people to her in the world.