DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A graduation ceremony turned into a “sister act,” as the siblings shared the stage after a remarkable journey.
Overcoming obstacles is their middle name. One teen walked across the stage as a distinguished high school graduate, and her sister turned the tassel at just 15 years old.
It makes for one of the proudest days any parent will have, but this day was double the honor.
Eighteen-year-old Susan Rossano graduated second in her class Monday from Nova High School in Davie, but there’s a special spin on this story.
“My sister is only 15 years old, and she’s graduating,” said Susan.
Susan gets to kiss high school goodbye with her 15-year-old sister Rylin Rossano by her side.
You may be asking how did she do it? It all began during the pandemic.
“The online learning world kind of opened up my love for taking online classes because I realized what was out there,” said Rylin.
Rylin’s middle school assistant principal nudged her toward taking online math classes. She has dyscalculia, a learning disability that makes it difficult for her to do basic math but online classes turned out to be the key not only to help her succeed in math but to help her deal with some of the difficulties of the pandemic.
“It allowed me to also kind of cope because my godparents went ghost on me, and I also experienced various forms of loss,” said Rylin.
Rylin knocked out her math classes, then history, English and her other requirements. Her success is due in part to her older sister’s shining example.
Susan graduated salutatorian, and that’s not all.
“The blue and gold one is for National Honor Society,” said Susan.
As a congressional debater and a recipient of the Silver Knight Award, Susan has also devoted herself to her community.
She started a foundation called Devoted 2 Babies at just 7 years old with the goal of helping babies born in NICU, just like her and her sister.
Their mom Colleen Rossano said their story comes full circle.
“They were NICU babies. They’ve overcome so much stuff,” said Colleen. “They made their mess their message their whole life.”
With one daughter inspiring her graduating class and another defying the odds, Colleen is convinced they will make an unforgettable mark.
“I’m proud of them, and the sky’s the limit. They’re off to change the world,” said Colleen.
Susan is preparing to head to the University of Florida to study history. Rylin hopes to get her degree in nutrition at Nova Southeastern University and aspires to open her own fitness studio with a focus on mental health.
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