News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News


May 5, 2013

Sister Act: Twins graduate together from ISU – and with the same degree

TERRE HAUTE — LaTonya and LaToya Mesidor know they must one day go their separate ways, but for now, the sisters from Sheridan are celebrating their graduation from Indiana State University together.

So far the identical twin daughters of Haitian immigrants have done everything together — including attending college, initially majoring in special education only to switch to a major they didn’t know much about until arriving at Indiana State. Each is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies.

“I’ve always loved being around children because of my grandma,” said LaToya. “After she came to the U.S. she would get clothes and shoes and stuff and take them back to Haiti because she had seen how kids in Haiti suffered.”

The twins applied to Indiana State after a teacher at Sheridan High School told them of the university’s excellent programs for future teachers. During their first year of studies, though, a friend told them about the field of human development and family studies and how it prepares graduates to help people “from birth to death,” LaToya said.

“I can work with the elderly or I can work with the youth. I love that and how it’s based on family life and informing families about development,” she said.

“Just seeing that and the passion I have for kids and working with inner city missions, I saw that I can do that with this major,” added LaTonya.

In conjunction with their Indiana State coursework, the twins served practicums at Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall and McMillan Adult Day Care Center. LaTonya served an internship at Ryves this spring while LaToya interned in a pre-school class at the Union Hospital Child Development Center.

“It was good to see the difference in students who come from families with different incomes and backgrounds,” LaToya said. “They’re (all) here to learn.”

“It’s amazing being able to work with these kids and seeing that they desire to be loved,” LaTonya said of the inner city youth at Ryves. “It’s hard working here with the kids but at the same time it’s enjoyable because they just want someone to look up to. When you give them that attention they’ll reach out to you. That’s one of the main reasons I like working with the kids at Ryves. They don’t have much but what they do have they cherish.”

At the Union Hospital center, 17 3-5-year-olds sat perfectly still as LaToya read to them from the children’s book, “A Weekend with Wendell,” about a mouse who is used to being in charge but learns during a visit with his friend Sophie that sometimes it’s OK for Sophie to be in charge.

“LaToya has been a great asset to our program,” said pre-school teacher Christy Frye. “She’s always very eager and dependable. She very much enjoys being here with the children. She shared with us that she most wants to reach those that may come from impoverished areas or families that are broken or kids that have a special need. She has a special place in her heart to reach those children that are less fortunate.”

LaTonya devoted part of her internship at Ryves to organizing a prom attended by about 40 youngsters, building on a simple ceremony put on by a previous intern.

“I wanted all of (the girls) to have dresses, which Goodwill donated” she said. “Some of the sorority sisters came in and helped. It really went well.”

Sarah Bruce’s face brightened as the 14-year-old Terre Haute South Vigo High School sophomore described the event just a few days after it took place.

“They worked really hard on it and they let all the girls get their hair and make-up done. It was fun,” Bruce said.

Bruce said she likely would never have had such an experience had it not been for LaTonya. But lest anyone think the Indiana State student was there just to help the youngsters have fun, Bruce pointed out that LaTonya also tutored her and other students with their homework.

“LaTonya and LaToya both are very special young ladies,” said Jim Edwards, director of Ryves Youth Center.

At about the time the twins arrived for their practicum last fall, the youth center’s cook left and the twins pitched in and helped Edwards prepare meals, though that wasn’t supposed to be part of their assignment, Edwards noted.

“They instantly bonded with all of the staff and the children,” he said.

While the twins love working with children and young adults, their practicum at the adult day care center proved they made the right choice by switching majors to complete a degree that prepares them to work with people of all ages, said LaToya.

“I love kids, but later on, I might want to work with the older people,” she said. “I loved the environment (at McMillan). People there are wiser because they’re older. I love listening to their stories or even just their encouragement or just to see how humble they are.”

Linda Behrendt, associate professor and coordinator of the human development and family studies program, said working with the twins has been a joy. Behrendt noted that they held down part-time jobs while taking a full load of classes and had to walk to off-campus practicum and internship sites because they didn’t have a car.

“LaToya and LaTonya have been very serious about their studies, and they have met every challenge without complaint,” she said. “Their compassion for people who are hurting or in need has been evident in the activities they have been involved in both in and out of the classroom. I am confident that as they go out into the world of work in the human services field that LaToya and LaTonya will make significant change in the lives of others.”

As they celebrate graduation, they agree they made the right choices — both to attend Indiana State and to change their majors.

“I’m grateful for the teachers that I got to meet and the people I got to interact with,” LaToya said. “They’ve prepared me for the real world. I thank Dr. B for that because I definitely see with my major how everything I’ve learned applies to the real world.”

For now LaToya and LaTonya plan to move — together, of course — to Georgia, where their mother and an older sister live but sooner or later they know their days of doing everything together will end.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll eventually separate,” LaTonya said.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • MET 071314 CUP FINAL PARTY.jpg Germany’s day

    The atmosphere, which smelled delicious, was thick with excitement as dozens of German soccer fans crammed into the Bierstube Sunday afternoon for the World Cup final match.

    July 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 021712 12 POINTS FILE.jpg Building up for grabs

    It would be impossible to name all of the entrepreneurs who have opened businesses over the past 100 years in and around the 12 Points Hotel on Terre Haute’s near north side.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed

    If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 13, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 14, 2014

    June 23-27

    July 13, 2014

  • Grave.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of an Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070914 GARDEN 01LARI.jpg Plentiful harvest

    Along the southern bank of Otter Creek near Clinton Street, across the street from North Terre Haute Christian Church, some rocky soil has proven to be fertile ground for new seeds.

    July 12, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • MET 071014 GARDEN 01DIEMER.jpg Meeting need for fresh foods

    There’s something about watching a zucchini go from seedling to soup that is satisfying for Jean Diemer.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • MET 071214 60 YEARS.jpg Celebrating 60 years of pride at Hulman Field

    The buildings may have changed, and the mission has certainly changed, but the pride remains the same when those celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 181st Intelligence Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard came together Saturday at Hulman Field.

    July 12, 2014 5 Photos

  • MET071214 treasure sign.jpg Treasure-hunters forced in doors

    Rain on a Saturday morning can be a big bummer for yard sales.

    July 12, 2014 5 Photos

  • Tank wiring said to be cause of oil-field fire

    An electrical short has been blamed for a Friday night fire at the Pinnacle Exploration oil field on Fruitridge Avenue south of Hulman Street.

    July 12, 2014

  • MET071114  St bens ellis.jpg Annual St. Ben’s community festival kicks off

    The St. Ben's Community Festival kicked off Friday night and continues from 5 p.m. until midnight today.

    July 11, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 071114 DELISH GREENE.jpg Adding to the mix

    The mix of local food choices will get a fresh stir in the near future, as a café opens a second location, a pizza place moves downtown and a national chain sprouts in two more spots.

    July 11, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET071114 guard bennett.jpg Shift from jets to intelligence

    Loud, impressive fighter jets once zoomed regularly across the sky in Terre Haute, their roars drowning out the sounds of televisions and telephones all around the area.

    July 11, 2014 4 Photos 2 Stories

  • MET 071114 MANN P.C..jpg Candidates’ views clash over more education testing, vouchers

    Indiana needs to change direction to improve education, said Democrat Jim Mann, who will face incumbent Rep. Robert Heaton, R-Terre Haute, in a rematch race for Indiana House District 46.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET071114bad check.jpg Fraudulent checks with an extra ‘t’

    A Terre Haute woman who received a large check in the mail this week wants to warn others that though the check looks legitimate, it is a scam.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Truck, van collide, stopping some U.S. 41 lanes for an hour

    Northbound traffic on U.S. 41 south of Terre Haute was blocked for about one hour Friday because of a two vehicle crash.

    July 11, 2014

  • council mtg 013.JPG Mayor: City will not file bankruptcy

    The Terre Haute City Council took well more than  an hour to ask questions and discuss the health of the city’s finances with top city officials in a special meeting Thursday night. A few councilmen expressed grave concern about the financial picture, while Mayor Duke Bennett said things were improving.

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • State official threatens prosecution of city leaders who talk about audit

    A state official has threatened to pursue the prosecution of city officials if they violate a confidentiality agreement signed last month.

    July 10, 2014

  • MET 071014 181 02EXPO.jpg ISU, 181st Intelligence Wing show off capabilities at expo

    Communication and getting unmanned eyes in the sky can be vital parts of responding to a natural or man-made disaster.

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Feds relent: Military to restore equipment program for fire departments

    An agreement has been reached to keep surplus military equipment rolling into rural fire department bays in Indiana and 47 other states.

    July 10, 2014

  • united way.jpg UW kicks off pilot campaign

    Dottie King remembers the day she saw a young man leaving St. Ann’s Dental Clinic after having 17 teeth pulled. He had not received sufficient dental care before that day so his need was dramatic. That was unlike King, who had visited the dentist regularly since childhood, but still found getting a tooth filled not on her list of fun things to do. “I thought to myself, ‘I never have thought about the blessing of dental care,’” King recalled, sharing that story on Thursday morning with other volunteers for the United Way of the Wabash Valley.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 071014 181 HILL.jpg Indiana’s director of homeland security sees unmanned systems’ potential

    Integrating unmanned flight systems into use for domestic surveillance can provide first responders with key information in responding to fires, earthquakes and man-made disasters, said John Hill, director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Stunt performer scheduled to be at Wigwam

    A celebrity stunt man named Jim “Crash” Moreau is scheduled to perform at Terre Haute’s Wigwam Skate and Event Center on Saturday.

    July 10, 2014

  • Rain barrels offered for sale

    The Vigo County Soil and Water Conservation District is taking orders for 55-gallon rain barrels.

    July 10, 2014

  • Ash.jpg Tips lead to meth lab bust

    Two people were arrested after police busted a clandestine methamphetamine lab Thursday in the 2200 block of Fourth Avenue in Terre Haute.

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET070914 house exterior.jpg Historic Ohio Boulevard house inspired by 1948 Cary Grant movie

    Spurred in 1948 by a newly released movie staring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, coupled with a growing post-World War II housing market, General Electric partnered with Hollywood’s RKO Studios to build “dream homes” throughout the country.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Detour ahead

    A panel of public and private officials is calling for $10 billion in projects to upgrade Indiana’s aging roads and bridges, but its members concede there’s no money to pay for it all.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 barrels.jpg MARK BENNETT: Making road work a barrel of fun for drivers

    We’re lucky orange barrels can’t talk.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • City Council to take up city finances tonight

    The Terre Haute City Council will have a chance in a special meeting tonight to delve deeply into the city’s financial health. However, council members are being asked to avoid raising the most controversial subject of recent weeks: The city’s use of Redevelopment Commission tax increment finance (TIF) money.

    July 9, 2014

  • Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

    Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Indiana’s ethics watchdog in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in the grade-change scandal that cost him his job as Florida’s schools chief last year.

    July 9, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip Bull Run Comes to Middle America Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Wisconsin Cop Ready to Roll...On Skateboard Lightning Kills Two in National Park in Colorado Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City One Dead, 19 Injured in Greyhound Bus Crash Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Raw: German Players Head to World Cup Final LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics
NDN Video
Germany Wins The 2014 FIFA World Cup!!! RAW VIDEO: Stampede injures ten at Georgia World Congress Center Cellphone Video Shows Assault Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News