Everyone has heard of the Hardy boys—that determined brotherly duo—but even they would be no match against the Hardy twins. Kicking off our Young Influentials line-up this year, Kim and Klarissa Hardy, 22 and natives of Texas, are forces to be reckoned with on the Jackson State campus and beyond. Kim Hardy has risen as student government association president, while Klarissa Hardy holds the title of Miss JSU. These offices are only the beginning of the Hardy twins' list of joint and solo community involvement.
Both the Hardy twins participate in an acting troupe that serves as socially conscious theater, performing in schools on issues such as teen pregnancy, HIV and cancer. In March 2005, the twins organized a week devoted to Women's History Month at JSU, showcasing forums and lectures.
"We focused on celebrating our womanhood, empowering women and taking our sexual health into our own hands," Kim Hardy explains.
While the sisters opted to attend the same university, their interests and academic pursuits are distinct. Klarissa, a chemistry major, has worked over the summer as a pharmaceutical intern. Klarissa also attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Diego.
Kim, a communication studies major and Spanish minor, has spent two summers in Boca Raton, Fla., at the prestigious St. Andrew's school, which hosts middle school students from Palm Beach public schools during the summer. Working as department chair of literature, Kim taught 7th through 9th graders and helped other teachers develop curricula.
The Hardy sisters traveled during spring break 2004 with a group of 50 other students to St. Helena, S.C., where the youth did service for the Gullah/Geechee Nation, which maintains West African culture from its slave origins. The Hardy sisters met the queen of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, who serves as leader of the community and represents her people internationally.
"It was so awesome to see womanhood in that venue," Kim Hardy marvels.
Both Kim and Klarissa have big plans for the future—graduate school, to begin with, which will likely relocate the twins to different schools.
"We depend on each other a lot, and I think we complement each other. We're best friends … and we're really thankful to have that support," Klarissa says.