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Four Brothers Celebrate Ivy League Glory During College Acceptance Season

Imagine being the parents of not one, not two, not three, but four Ivy League students in the same year. For these Ohioan parents, it may soon be their reality.

Imagine applying to the Ivy league school of your dreams, and not only getting accepted to all of them, but having the remaining three-fourths of your quadruplets basking in that same joy. This was the reality for the Wade brothers of Lakota East High School in Ohio when they discovered, just before track practice on Thursday (Mar. 30), that they were all accepted to Yale and Harvard to join the prestigious Class of 2021. Both schools had single-digit acceptance rates with Yale accepting only 2,272 of the 32,000 students who applied (7.1 percent), while Harvard only accepted 2,056 of the 39,000 who applied this year (5.3 percent), the Washington Post reports.

Each of the 18-year-old brothers, Nigel, Zach, Aaron and Nick, reflected on how they felt after receiving news of their acceptance.

“We’re still in shock, honestly. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.” - Aaron Wade

“I just felt blessed at that moment. It was an unreal feeling, I guess.” - Nigel Wade

“Honestly, to have one child from a family be accepted to a school like this is amazing. But for all four to be accepted - I just don’t, I don’t know how it happened.” - Zach Wade

Aaron continues to attest to their shock saying, “We didn’t go into this thinking, ‘Oh, we’re going to apply to all these schools and get into all of them,’” he continues, “...it was important that we each find a school where we think that we’ll thrive, and where we think that we’ll contribute.”

In addition to the two Ivy League schools that they applied to collectively, the Wade brothers also applied to other highly-competitive schools that best fit them, places they felt they could contribute to the most. Nick was accepted to Duke, Georgetown and Stanford. Aaron got into Stanford as well. Nigel locked in Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt while Zach snagged Cornell. All the aforementioned schools, which were not the only schools to accept the young men, all have acceptance rates below 20 percent.

While the boys share their plans to study international relations, economics, engineering, computer science, cognitive science and neuroscience, their father reflected on the moment he first started thinking about financially planning for their higher education endeavors.

“I remember they were doing an ultrasound and they said, ‘Mr. Wade, you better sit down.’ I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘There’s not two. There’s four.’ It was really at that point in time that I tried to figure out how we’re going to pay for school,” Darrin Wade said.

At first, the Wade parents believed they were only having twins, but two weeks later discovered they were having quadruplets instead. Since that time, Wade and his wife have been saving money for their sons’ education. But, the father acknowledges that the money saved is not going to be a match for the quadruplets' distinguished futures and the siblings aren’t foreign to the financial aspect of higher learning. Nick Wade attests that financial aid is going to “be a big player” in their decision of where they choose to go.

No matter where the Wade brothers end up, we have a feeling that their futures will be bright.

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Texas Appeals Court Grants Stay Of Execution For Rodney Reed Stay

A Texas Criminal Appeals Court granted Rodney Reed a stay of execution on Friday (Nov. 15). The decision came hours after the state’s parole board recommended that Reed’s lethal injection be delayed by 120-days.

Reed was scheduled to be lethally injected on Nov. 20. Although the court decision means that he no longer has an execution date, the parole board failed to approve a request to commute Reed's sentence to life in prison, the Washington Post reports.

The 51-year-old Texas native has spent that last two decades on death row for the1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Reed has filed numerous appeals over the years but his story only recently went viral catching the attention of lawmakers and celebrities including Rihanna, Oprah, Beyonce, T.I., Kim Kardashian West, the latter of whom was visiting with Reed when his execution was delayed.

Reed, who has long maintained his innocence, says Stite's was killed by her fiance, Jimmy Fennell. Fennell’s lawyer Robert Phillips “laughed off” Reed’s allegations, according to numerous reports.

Fennell served 10 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping and rape of another woman while working as a police officer in 2007. He was briefly suspected in Stite’s murder. Authorities turned their attention to Reed after his DNA was found inside Stites, from what he contends was a consensual relationship. Reed, who is black, believes that race played a part in the case because Stites was a white woman. He was convicted by an all-white jury.

Reed’s legal team has also provided evidence to prove his innocence, including new witnesses.

"We’re happy that we’re going to have an opportunity to present the compelling evidence that Rodney Reed didn’t commit the crime," Bryce Benjet of the Innocence Project, who took on Reed’s case, told The Texas Tribune. "The Court of Criminal Appeals recognized the substance of this case and the need for a special hearing where all the evidence can be considered."

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Trailblazers Portrayed In 'Hidden Figures' To Receive Congressional Gold Medals

Engineers Mary Jackson and Christine Darden, mathematician Katherine Johnson and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughn are being honored with the highest U.S. civilian award.

The four trailblazers, three of whom were depicted in the film Hidden Figures, will receive Congressional Gold Medal, ABC News reports. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) helped introduce the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, a bipartisan bill signed by President Donald Trump last Friday (Nov. 8).

As the highest civilian award in the U.S., the Congressional Gold Medal recognizes those who have performed an achievement that has had a lasting impact on American history and culture.

Johnson, who celebrated her 101st birthday last summer, calculated trajectories for numerous NASA space missions beginning in the early 1950s. Vaughn, who died in 2008, led the West Area Computing unit for nine years, and was the first black supervisors at the national Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA.

Jackson, who died in 2005, was NASA’s first black engineer. Darden became an engineer at NASA 16 years after Jackson and went on to “revolutionize aeronautic design.” She was also the first black person to be promoted to Senior Executive at NASA's Langley Research Center, and has also authored more than 50 articles on aeronautics design.

“Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden made monumental contributions to science and our nation,” said Senator Harris. “The groundbreaking accomplishments of these four women, and all of the women who contributed to the success of NASA, helped us win the space race but remained in the dark far too long. I am proud our bill to honor these remarkable women has passed Congress. These pioneers remain a beacon for Black women across the country, both young and old.”

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Courtesy of Crawford Family, WVLT

Authorities Release Grisly Details Of Alexis Crawford’s Murder

Alexis Crawford was strangled to death before her body was thrown in a trash bin, the Fulton Country Superior Court revealed in court documents released on Tuesday (Nov. 12).

Crawford died on Oct. 31, reports the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Four days earlier, the 21-year-old Clark Atlanta University senior filed a police report against her roommate, Jordyn Jones's boyfriend, Barron Bentley, accusing him of sexual assault. Crawford had a rape kit performed on her at a local hospital. Crawford's decision to go to police caused tension between her and Jones, which erupted in a physical fight.

“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” the Atlanta Police Department said.

After killing Crawford, Jones and Brantley, both age 21, stuffed her body into a “plastic bin” and transported it to Exchange Park in Decatur, Ga., where they left her remains.

Crawford and Jones knew each other for at least two years, and became close while studying at Clark Atlanta. The Michigan native even visited Crawford’s family’s home during the holidays.

Brantley confessed to Crawford's murder and led police to her body last Friday (Nov. 7). Jones was arrested the following day.

Brantley and Jones are both charged with felony murder and are being held without bond.

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