In photos: These quintuplets are inseparable and just graduated, together, from the same Texas university
DALLAS, Texas - The Diaz quintuplets were still in hospital in Houston when people were already asking their parents: how are you going to put them through university? It was 1996 and Enna and Jorge Díaz had more immediate needs on their minds.
"My husband replied; 'What am I going to do today, what am I going to do tomorrow, how are we going to feed them? Diapers, cribs, etc.,'" recalled their mother in an interview with Univision News in Dallas. "We have lived day to day."
They soon learned a great lesson: not being afraid to ask for help when they needed it. That, coupled with the belief that "yes you can," helped them achieve their goal and 21 years later their five children all have university degrees.
"They were born as quintuplets, they grew up as quintuplets, and they graduated as quintuplets," said Enna Díaz, who like her husband emigrated from Mexico after graduating from university in Monterrey. They are both naturalized U.S. citizens.
Enna, George, John, Emilio and María Díaz -- the order in which they were born -- graduated this spring from different careers. After years of effort, all five received their diplomas from the same institution - the University of North Texas (UNT) - and on the same weekend.
Both parents managed to attend all the graduations, except for Emilio, because it was at the same time as George's. Dad went to the latter's and mom to the former. As George's ended earlier, Dad ran over to Emilio's.
"As a father, the best thing you can offer your children is education," said Jorge Díaz, 55, who shares his birthday with his wife. "In a family of eight, we celebrate only three birthday dates," he said. The Díaz have another son, Sebastián, 17 years old.
The five older siblings all went to Keller High School. When it was time for the quintuplets to think about college, the family asked for scholarships and financial aid, said Jorge Díaz, who works in the sales department of a food company.
Their main support came from FAFSA, the financial aid offered to students by the federal government to pursue higher education, he explained. But they also requested scholarships for Hispanic students and grants offered by UNT.
"They can achieve what they want. There is always assistance, scholarships, the tricky bit is finding out about them, to tell the truth," he said.
The siblings made history in 2014 by becoming the first quintuplets to enroll in UNT, according to a university publication.
The five are celebrating their achievement and credit their parents for the sacrifices they made, and are now pondering their futures as, for the first time, they will go off on their own.
"We have always lived together, we have always helped each other, and hopefully it will be that way in the future, but now we have to do our own things," said George, who admitted to being somewhat nervous.
The first priority is finding a job. Each one obtained diplomas in different areas: biology (Enna), logistics and Spanish (George), finance and international markets (John), social communication (Emilio) and design (María).
"We had a great time together," reflected John Díaz. "Obviously, we're not going to get married all together ..."
George Díaz interrupted him, joking: "Why not?"