$1m for Scholarships: a 2013 Fundraising Update


Akilah achieved monumental success in 2013!

We graduated our second class of students. (Press coverage of the ceremony here, here, here, here, and here.)

We opened a new campus in Burundi, backed by a Segal Family Foundation commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative. (Press coverage here and here.)

Marriott International accepted 24 more graduates into their annual management training program in Dubai. (Press coverage here and here.)

We received 1,500 applications, of which 10% were accepted.

And, we raised $1 million to support scholarships for 340 students on our campuses in Rwanda and Burundi!

Akilah kicked off the $1 million campaign at the 4th annual Metropolitan Safari tour headlined by two Akilah student ambassadors (now graduates), Cecile and Julian. Our events in San Jose and San Francisco were hosted by Jon Freeman and Meredith Wiedeman. (Press in Santa Clara Weekly.)


The Boston event at the African-American History Museum raised over $20,000 and was attended by executives from Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Bonnie Weiss of Child Relief International, and Akilah board members Carmen Nibigira, Michael Fairbanks, and Rick Daniels. Clet Niyikiza, a member of the Rwandan Presidential Advisory Council, spoke about the importance of education for young Rwandan women and the incredible impact Akilah women have on their communities. (Interviews with Cecile and Julian on WGBH.)


Events in New York and Philadelphia raised over $125,000 and were attended by 150 guests, including long-time Akilah supporters Michele & Peter Faulkner, the Wendy and Derek Pew family, the Jim and Lin Buck family, and Michaela Walsh, the founder of Women’s World Banking. (Press in Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Metro Safari NY

Akilah’s biggest Philly fans are the proactive and socially mindful girls of the The Agnes Irwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. These girls have stared the Akilah Club at Agnes Iwrin in order to help fund an annual scholarship for a Rwandan Akilah student:


Katherine Pew and Charlotte Buck with Akilah Student Ambassadors Cecile Musanase and Julian Nankunda and Akilah Executive Director Lisa Martilotta Lamprecht.

Marriott International, who recently extended their partnership with Akilah and accepted more alumnae into their training program in Dubai, hosted our event in Washington, DC at the Mayflower. Akilah raised almost $60,000 and welcomed many VIPs: United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell, former President of The World Bank Robert Zoellick, Rwanda Ambassador to the U.S. Mathilde Mukantabana, Senior Vice President at Pew Charitable Trusts Tamera Luzzatto, and Marriott executive Kathleen Matthews. (Press in Wall Street Journal.)


The Tampa event at Lowry Park Zoo raised over $150,000, thanks to our generous event committee, including Marcy and Bob Shuck, Susan Freeman, May Kay Vona, Reba and Pete Cardillo, and others. The Tampa community, home to Akilah’s CEO & Co-founder Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes, has played a critical role in supporting Akilah since we opened in 2010. (On Voice of America. On ABC Sarasota. On Daytime TV. On WMNF.)


Alaina Gurwitz, the founder of Adhara, a women’s club and space that offers professional, social, spiritual and charitable programs that celebrate women and enhance their development, hosted an intimate evening reception in the home of artist Merrill Steigerin TriBeCa, New York.


After wrapping up the 4th Annual Metropolitan Safari, Akilah launched its 2013 Winter Campaign. Former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, a longtime Akilah supporter, sent a letter to all Akilah supporters, urging them to renew their commitment to Akilah students.

We are grateful to everyone who made it possible for Akilah to set our sights high and surpass them! We would like to extend a very special thanks to the L & R Uechtritz Foundation, the Corbett Family Charitable Foundation, the Sonia Raymund Foundation, the J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and our friends Peter & Michele Faulkner and Robert B. Zoellick for their steadfast support of the Akilah mission.

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