Four Liberty Township, Ohio brothers, Nigel, Zach, Aaron, and Nick Wade, known as the “Wade Quads” are now being called, the “Ivy League Quads” now that they have all been accepted to two top elite colleges in the country.
“I was just stunned,” Nigel said. “I was speechless because I didn't think, I couldn't believe that it was actually happening and I actually got in.”
The 18-year-olds were in track practice the moment they received acceptance emails from Yale and Harvard University. When their parents got the word they had been accepted, they were overwhelmed.
“I was at work like always when they texted us with the news and then I was home, like, when the last one came in, you know,” said their mother Kim Wade. “And I remember I think reading that, "Oh, my goodness. All of them, you know, got in?"
There was no surprise the boys would have a bright future ahead of them. Being taught the importance of education, the boys never neglected their studies while playing sports such as football and soccer. Their father Darrin, the “Wade” of the household, hasn’t checked their grades since they were in 3rd grade. He has full confidence in his son’s abilities because of resources and support they were given along with hard work. The lowest grade the boys ever received in school was a ‘B’.
“It's not so much about, you know, the numbers as it is, I'm going to, you know, try and actively learn this,” Aaron said. “And I feel like that's been the goal for all of us, is to be active learners, not just, you know, grade chasers.”
When it comes to raising four successful sons, Kim and Darrin said there’s no secret in the sauce. Kim, a junior high school principal and Darrin an engineer with General Electric says the key is consistency.
“Set the expectation of what you think your children should be able to accomplish. Help them to do that. Don't let them waver,” Kim said. “Don't let them say they can't do something. And be consistent with your message. And be consistent with how you support them in that.”
The Lakota East High School seniors not only have Harvard and Yale to choose from. Nigel was accepted into John Hopkins and Vanderbilt Universities. Aaron got into Stanford along with Nick, was also accepted by Duke and Georgetown. Zach also has Cornell as an option. While they are stilling deciding on which school they will pick to begin their next chapter, the individual essays they submitted with their college applications show they are ready to be different.
“I always felt like I wanted to be my own person. I didn't like being called just one of the Wade brothers. Like, if I'm in the hallway, I wanna be called, "Hey, Zach." Not "Hey, Quad," or "Hey, Wade." I like to have my own name and have my own identity,” Zach said. “I like being able to have a responsibility for my own actions and people to see me for who I am and not just part of a bigger group."
Rehema Ellis joined NBC News in 1994 as a general assignment correspondent. In 2010 she was named education correspondent and was an integral part of NBC’s first annual Education Nation summit that focused on the strengths and weaknesses of America’s education system.
Her reports appear on "Nightly News with Brian Williams," "TODAY," and MSNBC. Ellis was part of the NBC Emmy award-winning coverage of the plane crash in the Hudson River called, Miracle on the Hudson. She also won an Emmy for her reporting on the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and his historic inauguration.
Ellis has been part of other headliner stories including the attacks on the World Trade Center. She was the first person to identify the attack on the air as “Nine-Eleven." She’s reported on Hurricane Katrina, the death of Michael of Jackson and the Haiti earthquake.
As a correspondent for NBC, Ellis traveled to Zaire to report on the mass killings that left an estimated one million people dead in Rwanda. A few years later she spent a month in Greece covering the summer Olympics.
Ellis began her broadcast career at KDKA Radio and TV in Pittsburgh. Later, she worked in Boston at WHDH-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor.
She has distinguished herself as a lead correspondent and received numerous awards including local and national Emmys, Edward R. Murrow Awards, Associated Press awards and awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. She's also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Journalism.
Born in North Carolina, and raised in Boston, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
Ellis currently lives in New York City with her young son.