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  • Joe Ricketts to Receive Malaika Foundation's 2013 Global Educator Award for Work in Africa


    For Immedate Release
    Lynn Grasz  Grasz Communications      (646) 425-8868

    First Lady of Tanzania to attend Gala co-hosted by      University of Nebraska

    LINCOLN, NEBRASKA - Sept. 23, 2013 - Joe Ricketts, the philanthropist and entrepreneur who founded the online brokerage TD Ameritrade, will receive the Malaika Foundation's 2013 Global Educator Award at a gala event co-hosted by the Malaika Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Education and Human Sciences on Friday, Sept. 27 in Lincoln. Among the dignitaries in attendance will be Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, First Lady of United Republic of Tanzania, one of 11 countries in Africa and South Asia where Mr. Ricketts' Opportunity Education Foundation is providing state-of-the-art educational equipment, teaching tools and resources to half a million students and 5,000 teachers at more than 1,200 primary schools.

    Mr. Ricketts, the founder, CEO, and benefactor of the Opportunity Education Foundation, is being honored for his commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Motivated by a desire to make quality education accessible to children in developing nations so they can improve their standard of living and work towards a brighter future, Mr. Ricketts created the Opportunity Education Foundation in 2005 to provide the essential educational opportunities and resources - everything from learning materials and curricula to televisions and teachers' guides - that are critical to effective schooling.

    Mrs. Kikwete, whose husband, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, has been president of Tanzania since 2005, is attending the Sept. 27 Gala to Support Global Education honoring Mr. Ricketts in recognition of her country's ongoing partnership with Opportunity Education, which supports 453 schools in Tanzania. The founder of Tanzania's Women in Development Foundation, Mrs. Kikwete is a former teacher who shares Mr. Ricketts' passion for education.

    The Malaika Foundation is a Nebraska nonprofit that assists schools with global education and provides resources and global fellowships. The Malaika Global Educator Award is given to an individual whose impact is global and also provides benefits to Nebraska Schools. Opportunity Education has 150 sister schools in Nebraska that are linked with schools and students in 11 countries.

    The Malaika Foundaiton -- malaika means "my angel" in Swahili - was started in 1997 by Dr. Natalie Hahn, a native of Polk, Nebraska, who spent 40 years at the United Nations working to improve the lives of children and empower women in developing countries. In support of the Foundation's mission, the Sept. 27 Gala will feature an auction of 50 pieces of African art, including paintings, carvings, masks, and textiles donated by Dr. Hahn. The proceeds will be used to provide global educational fellowships for undergraduates in the College of Education and Science at the University of Nebraska.

    The Gala, which is open to the public, will be held Friday, September 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Quilt House, 33rd and Holdrege, in Lincoln. African foods will be served by CHES students in the Nutrition and Health Sciences Department and African fashions designed by students in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design will be modeled. Charles Ahovissi and the African Culture Connection will welcome guests with authentic African dancing and drumming.

    Tickets can be ordered at and will be available at the door. The price for adults is $50.00 and for students, $10.00.