UA Alumni to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to Raise Funds for Orphans

Feb. 19, 2013

Three UA alumni are bound for to Tanzania this summer for the Make A Difference, or MAD, Kilimanjaro Climb for Education.

Photo credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim via Wikipedia

Alyssa Samuelson and Stephanos Antoniades will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain at more than 19,300 feet. Olga Tsoudis, who earned a master's degree in sociology in 1993 and a doctorate in philosophy in 1995, will join the duo for the safari, with plans to also volunteer at the orphanage.

"I have greatly enjoyed giving back while being able to learn more about and experience different cultures," said Samuelson, who graduated with a business administration degree in 2000 and now owns a real estate company, a collegiate product manufacturing and a distributing company. "Putting these two things hand-in-hand is another dream come true."

MAD, a non-profit organization, supports orphaned children through education and economic development at orphanages and schools. The organization also supports them while studying at universities, also offering job skills training and other income-generating activities.

Leading up to the great hike, the Wildcats are seeking donors to aid youth in Tanzania. The country's economy is among the bottom 10 percent in the world, and 40 percent of the population is age 15 and younger. 

"I came across the MAD Kilimanjaro Charity Climb, and it was obvious immediately that this was a no-brainer," said Antoniades, who earned a computer science degree in 1990 and went on to earn a master's in the same program in 1992. Today, Antoniades is a full-time computer programmer and part-time semi-professional nature and travel photographer.

Each of their fundraising pages are live:

Contact: Theresa Grant of Make A Difference at 208-309-2100 or