A family are celebrating after triplets completed an incredible achievement by graduating from Aberdeen University with first-class honours.

Josh, John and Anna Pizzuto-Pomaco will all receive their degrees in the coming months but their story gets even more impressive when you learn they left their home in New Jersey to move right across the world to Peterhead with their mum, dad and little sister during a worldwide pandemic that had shut everywhere down.

There’s been tough moments after their move to Scotland too, with dad Joe passing after battling Motor Neurone Disease in September 2022.

In their first year of university all their classes were online, it moved to a more hybrid system in their second year before they could finally attend regular in third year.

READ MORE: University student explains how he turned it around from failed school exams to PhD

All of it has helped shaped the trio into what they are now and their success will be celebrated by the university as well as family and friends.

The triplets, aged 22, will go their separate ways for the first time in their life next year with Josh heading to Glasgow to do a masters degree in multimedia, Anna staying at Aberdeen University to do her own post graduate while John will head off to the world of work.

Josh, who studied politics and theology, has ambitions of becoming a journalist and recently won three awards at the Herald Scotland Student Journalism awards. He picked up prizes for scoop of the year, news writer of the year and student journalist of the year during the ceremony in May.

While he was doing politics and theology, brother John was studying sociology and theology while Anna was completing her degree in history and international relations so their studies did cross over from time to time, and the competitive edge in them helped push them along too.

Their mum, Julia, is a minister in the Church of Scotland in Peterhead and Josh was keen to ensure that she got a lot of credit for their achievements too.

He said: “My sister is essentially doing half of my degree and my brother doing the other half so we’ve seen a lot of each other which is good fun.

“Coming to Aberdeen from quite far away and arriving during covid it was great to have folk you knew. Just to have a friendly face and work together on different things.

“My mum is the real hero of the story. She’s worked hard and raised us the right way so she’s definitely proud. I can’t say enough good things about all the things she does.

“Where we lived in New Jersey is a busy place and coming to Aberdeenshire is a bit different. We live up in Peterhead and commute into the city for university so it’s very different but it’s really nice as well. It’s peaceful and you see and get a lot of new experiences. I’ve really enjoyed it and hopefully we’ll stick around for a long time as well.

“Journalism is what I’d like to do. I’m going to Caley next year for their multimedia post graduate. I’m looking forward to doing journalism and telling the stories that matter and speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. That’s my number one thing so we’ll see how it goes.

(Image: NQ)

“My brother wants to go into being a minister or social care, my sister wants to continue in academia, she’s doing a masters at the university next year and eventually wants to go do a PhD as well.

“It’ll be a wee bit different next year. I’ll be in Glasgow, my sister will still be at the university and my brother will most likely be working a job somewhere in the area. It’ll be different, it’ll be a challenge and an adjustment living separately but it’s what you do when you grow up. Most people have never had the chance to grow up and graduate with their siblings in the first place so I think I’ve been blessed to do it so far and whatever comes next is the icing on the cake.”

Losing their father two years after moving to Scotland makes their achievements even more impressive given how they’ve dealt with things and continued to succeed in academia.

It’s something that has inspired Josh, though, with his dad having been a radio journalist himself in Philadelphia.

He continued: “That’s part of it as well, he had Motor Neurone Disease so it was quite serious but in my part from being a journalist comes back to him as well. He was a radio journalist in the 90s and following in his footsteps is quite cool.

“Life isn’t without it’s challenges, that’s for sure. I think the three of us being able to stick together helped. With my mum being a minister there was a really supportive community there as well. It’s difficult at times but having support around you is really important and I’ve definitely had that with my siblings the last couple of years.”