Newark native Eleanor Wade joins Peace Corps to work in Uganda

As a youth, Eleanor Wade was exposed to cultures outside of her hometown of Newark. 

In 2012, Eleanor’s parents, Bob and Ashley Wade, hosted the family’s first exchange student, Marit SolhaugNaess from Norway.  

Ashley, who volunteered to host an exchange student on a whim during a Rotary Club meeting, wanted a way to expose her children — Eleanor, an eighth-grader, and Calvin, a third-grader — to people of different backgrounds.  

Marit, the first of soon-to-be six exchange students to visit the family, was the initial step in a life-changing experience for Eleanor. One of Ashley’s first memories was at Christmas that year, when Eleanor became fascinated by the Norwegian Christmas traditions Marit introduced to the family. 

“For an eighth-grader, that was an easy way to learn different cultures in a way that’s not threatening and there’s no judgment,” Ashley said. “It was just, ‘Wow you do that at Christmas?’ That led to an idea of being a global citizen.”  

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