Santa Barbara, CA, April 30, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Morton Capital Management, recognized by Barron’s Magazine as a Top 100 Independent Financial Advisor,* announced today the first honoree of its Women Making Waves campaign, a year-long effort to honor Santa Barbara women who are making a dramatic social impact locally and abroad. Teri Gabrielsen has been named as the first of six women to be honored for her significant contribution towards the advancement of health and human rights of Maasai girls.
“Teri Gabrielsen’s efforts in Esiteti, Kenya, demonstrate the power of compassion, innovation and collaboration to create new models for improved social outcomes,” said Caroline Harrah, wealth advisor at Morton Capital Management. “By telling her story, we hope that other women will be inspired in their own creative, business and philanthropic pursuits.”
During a life-changing trip to Africa over 15 years ago, Teri decided to dedicate her time and resources to help provide the Maasai children in Esiteti, Kenya, the opportunity to go to school. In 2007, Teri formed Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK) to do just that. But while serving there, she quickly realized that education is a privilege reserved primarily for boys in the Maasai culture. For girls, education is prematurely interrupted around puberty with a coming of age ceremony (or, “Emuratare”) involving the ritual of female genital cutting and early marriage.
Teri knew that change was needed but instinctively realized that the key would be found in her ability to listen and to better understand the culture of the Maasai. Only then could she successfully engage the community about the health risks of their ritual and an individual’s right to an education. “The result,” said Teri, “was a better-informed people who, along with their Chief, chose an ‘alternative rite of passage’ that resulted in no cutting and emphasized education as a young woman’s coming of age.”
The alternative rite of passage (ARP) ceremony now replaces the traditional Emuratare and is facilitated three times a year by Maasai women. Since its launch in 2012, there have been over 220 female ARP graduations. “I believe that all girls around the world deserve the right to an education,” said Teri. “And the benefits go beyond the expected. Studies have shown that educating girls is the single most effective way to raise overall economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, improve nutrition and promote health.”
Added Teri, “We are encouraged by the participation and believe the ARP model gives both Maasai men and women a personal stake in preserving the health and future of their people. By duplicating the ARP program throughout Kenya, we have the opportunity to reach 13,000 Maasai girls a year! That would be a dream come true.”
Teri is being recognized by Morton Capital Management in a two-page fashion spread in Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine styled by luxury Montecito boutique Allora by Laura, with hair and makeup by Shine Blow Dry Bar. Future honorees will represent a diversity of backgrounds and experience, each embodying her courageous pursuit to challenge the status quo and create positive social change. Stories accompanying the features will describe the honorees’ journeys, offering insights that others might use in their own lives.
For more information about Africa Schools of Kenya, go to www.ASKenya.org.
To make a nomination for the Women Making Waves campaign, please contact Caroline Harrah, a wealth advisor at Morton Capital Management. She can be reached at 805-259-9379 or CHarrah@MortonCapital.com.
About Morton Capital Management
Morton Capital Management is a financial advisory and wealth management firm established in 1983 that works with individuals, families, foundations and businesses to create personalized, goal-driven strategies to empower their vision of the future. Morton Capital Management, based in Santa Barbara and Calabasas, manages over $1.4 billion in assets (as of 12/31/2014) for over 700 clients. For more information, go to www.MortonCapital.com or contact Caroline Harrah, Wealth Advisor, at 805-259-9379 or CHarrah@MortonCapital.com.
*Barron's ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms and the quality of the advisors' practices. Only firms that submit information are considered