ORANGEFIELD, Texas — It's time for some good news.
Four years ago, 12News told you about Casey Smith, the 2016 Valedictorian of Orangefield High School, who overcame all odds. Turns out, success runs in the family.
For some people, 13 may be considered an unlucky number, but for the Smith family, it's a symbol of hard work, and perseverance.
Born 13 weeks early, at 13 and 3/4th of an inch long, 1 pound, 11 ounces, Casey Smith wasn't supposed to live past two days.
"But I did, and then I became valedictorian and I guess hopefully I've made my family really proud of me," Casey said.
After graduating at the top of his class with 13 years of perfect attendance, the success didn't stop there.
Casey is graduating from Lamar University in May with honors, majoring in management and human resource management. He already has plans to obtain his master's degree.
"My family always taught me to work hard, so that's what I did, I'm a firm believer that if you work hard enough you can do anything you want to accomplish and that's what I tried to do," Casey said.
He succeeded, and set the bar high for his younger siblings, while helping them along the way. Twins Colton and Chloe took after their big brother. The Orangefield seniors are graduating as valedictorian and salutatorian this year.
"It's nice to know that my hard work paid off and we can be recognized for the things that we've done," Chloe said.
"We work pretty hard to stay, you know, high GPA everything like that," Colton said.
Not to be outdone by Casey, the twins will also finish with 13 years of perfect attendance. But there's still one Smith sibling to go.
The youngest, Cade, knows he has big shoes to fill.
"The bars set pretty high, I guess I have to follow them, I can't do anything else," Cade said.
So far, so good. The sophomore has not missed a day of school, yet.
As Colton and Chloe head to Lamar this fall with a full-ride Marabeau scholarship, Casey is happy to share the glory.
"I'm a proud big brother I mean it means everything to me to see them like being successful and working hard and doing what they do best," Casey said.