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Young Twins Agree: Whitman Is the Best All-Around

When Las Vegas natives and twin sisters, Caira and Shaira Young, visited Whitman College for the first time they didn’t expect to feel so at home. The young athletes had basketball on their minds and didn’t think they would commit to a Division III school.

“When we came to visit, Whitman did have a cool feeling,” says Caira. “It was like a welcoming energy and I felt like the people here really did care about me and wanted me to come.”

The twins, now Whitman juniors, were looking at other colleges all around the country and each had multiple offers. The pair knew they wanted to experience undergrad together—and hoped for a place they could grow and thrive as individuals.

For Shaira, Whitman made the decision easy.

“I had interest from a lot of other schools,” Shaira says. “Then I tore my ACL and those schools stopped showing interest, but Whitman continued to send me letters in the mail and communicate with me—just to check in on how I was doing. In the end, I came to Whitman—the place that showed me they really care.”

Caira chose Whitman for a similar reason. She felt she was seen for being more than just her sister’s twin—that the people at Whitman saw her for who she is as an individual.

Becoming the TikTok Twins

Caira and Shaira are both double majoring in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Public Discourse. They didn’t intend on studying the same subjects, but again, they found themselves with the same game plan. They both wanted to gain knowledge of how to run a business and how to communicate on a larger scale.


Being student-athletes keeps them busy, but they’ve also found other ways to make the most of their college experience, from planning campus events to landing multiple jobs and internships. You may have even seen them on your screens. Shaira and Caira both intern in the Office of Communication, showcasing all Whitman has to offer to prospective and current students through social media.


As part of the TikTok team, they help create content for the official Whitman College channel: @WhitmanCollege. Sharing various aspects of Whittie life. It fuels their creative spirits while allowing them to learn about social media marketing and promotions.

“I didn’t hear of Whitman College until my sister told me a recruiter had reached out so I thought it would be a great opportunity to expand Whitman’s name and get it out there to more people because it really is a great school and we have great people here,” Caira says.

“Prospective students can see some trend TikToks, easy to cook meals, interviews with athletes, fun events around campus, highlights from games … ” says Shaira.

“It’s is a wide variety of everything Whitman has to offer,” adds Caira. “We highlight the people that are currently here and all the reasons to come here.”

In addition to social media marketing, the twins have added other experiences to their resumes—thanks in part to the Whitman Internship Grant, which has funded finance and marketing internships including in the sisters' family law firm.


“Being able to put things like these on our resume will help us be in a better light once we start applying for other opportunities when we graduate,” says Caira.

Finding Family

“Some of the best things about Whitman are the connections you’ll make. I’ve met some of my best friends here,” says Shaira. “Our coaches, teammates, classmates and professors—they are all kind of family now—and they really care about all of our individual experiences.”


The twins agree the support from their professors not only helps them balance academics and athletics but it also makes them feel seen among what can feel like a crowd.

“Going off to college, the workload can feel like a lot and you can fall behind in your classes. Plus, you are meeting a lot of new people … you are navigating a new campus. It can be stressful,” says Caira. “With the small class sizes, it makes it easier to form relationships and to communicate with your professor, which helps us stay on track academically. Our professors work with us because they want to see all of their students succeed.”

And since campus is in the heart of the city, they also feel the love from the locals.

“One of my favorite things about Walla Walla is our basketball fans—who come to and support us at every home game,” says Caira. “They show up and show out for us! It is just amazing. I really feel the love.”

The sisters say during the 2020 shutdown, their team put in the work but they missed their fans and want to finish this season strong.

Whitman’s Women’s Basketball team is tough to beat.
The Blues are currently ranked in the top 10 Division III teams in the nation. Before the pandemic shut them down, the Blues claimed the Northwest Conference DIII Champion title and made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

“When we were in the NCAA tournament, we had two teammates out with injuries and our team just rallied together,” says Caira. “We wrote their numbers on our shoes and were playing for them—wishing they could play with us.” In the end, COVID-19 was one foe they couldn't beat—shutting down the national tournament and sending everyone home. 


The twins say they have grown close with each of their teammates and see them as family.

As Whitties, they also feel connected to other students—past and present.

“If I am speaking to an alum I feel like I can definitely connect with them because it’s a small school in a small town so I think our network is a lot tighter than it would at a larger school,” says Shaira.

“I would agree and the people here are very inclusive of everybody,” says Caira. “We encourage everyone to bring their cultures here and offer opportunities to learn about them. For example, the Power & Privilege Symposium hosts a variety of events discussing belonging and social justice. You can see more about that on the TikTok channel.”

Beyond the Blues

For the twins, they see life after Whitman studying at prestigious law schools and becoming successful attorneys.

“Choosing Whitman was the best all-around opportunity for us,” says Shaira. Caira adds, “It is a great stepping stone for what we want next in life.”

They both want to keep their options open but are leaning towards taking over their parents' estate planning firm.

“We’ve interned there and are even continuing to work remotely,” says Caira. “We are learning how things run in the law firm from the ground up so that once we come in as attorneys we will be able to take over the firm and retire our parents early.” 


Published on Feb 8, 2022
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