Metropolitan Safari 2014


This year’s Metropolitan Safari has only two more stops left in San Jose on November 5 and in Tampa on November 15. More than halfway through the tour, we wanted to take a moment to thank some of the extraordinary guests and supporters who attended this annual gathering.

A huge thank-you to all 125 people who met us at the Bryant Park Grill on October 16. We especially want to thank Bruce Lev, Michael and Anne Moretti, Alaina Gurwitz, Deirdre McGuiness, and our extraordinary Guest of Honor, Mary Beech from Kate Spade & Company. Mary, who spoke at the event, also introduced the audience to the company’s new on purpose line of clothing, which is made by Rwandan women and supported by Akilah students. Kate Spade & Company generously provided a collection of must-haves for our auction at the event. Check out our photos on Facebook and at the end of this post!

We kicked off the Metropolitan Safari this year with our first event on September 30 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, attended by 50 guests. Marriott Executive Vice President Kathleen Matthews hosted, with special guest, former World Bank president, and longtime Akilah supporter Robert Zoellick. We want to thank Richard, Joann, and Naomi Weiner — Naomi interned at Akilah Rwanda over the summer and we can’t wait to have her back! Thank you so much to Marideth Sandler, Celinda Lake, and Joan and Cal Calambokidis for helping to make the evening possible.

In Chicago on October 4 at the American Swedish Museum, the Kristin Linnea Skvarla Foundation hosted an evening for 50 guests to celebrate KLSF’s 15 years of service and to honor Akilah’s achievements in women’s education and empowerment. KLSF pledged to match every gift up to $50,000! A huge thank-you to Kai Skvarla and the entire Skvarla Family and to Dana Bonkowski. Our Chicago audiences were also the first to view our new video highlighting East Africa’s booming tech scene and Akilah’s response to the need for more trained IT professionals in the region.

Our Boston event on October 8 was hosted by the Mulroy Family in their home. The intimate gathering with family and friends included John and Anne DiGiovanni, Michael and Marylee Fairbanks, and Ethan Berg. Jean Mulroy gave a warm welcome to guests detailing her recent trip to our Rwanda campus with her sister-in-law Anne DiGiovanni and niece Evie.

We hope to see you soon in San Jose and Tampa! Your attendance helps us close the $400,000 funding gap for next year, when our student numbers will double across both campuses.

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