Mar 02, 2006

Nelnet Teams With ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Deliver a Special Gift to a Motherly-Icon in Florida

LINCOLN, Neb., March 2, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- As one compassionate Fort Lauderdale resident was helping raise less fortunate children from her modest home, providing meals, housing, and counseling, a hurricane by the name of "Wilma" disrupted the community, but not the heart of Essie Reed, known to everyone as "Big Mama."

Many of the children who seek Big Mama's assistance come from homes fraught with drug, alcohol, poverty, and violence related problems. Reed teaches the kids the meaning of caring and self-reliance and how to love themselves so that they can love others. She also urges them to pray and use the wisdom and knowledge they have to overcome their problems.

ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition selected Big Mama to rebuild her home for their upcoming "After the Storm" special and contacted Nelnet to participate in the surprise. Nelnet created the Big Mama-Nelnet Scholarship Fund to provide more opportunities for Big Mama's "kids" to attend college.

"We were excited to help Big Mama with her quest to guide young people in the right direction," said Nelnet President Jeff Noordhoek. "The Big Mama-Nelnet Scholarship Fund will help her to make their educational dreams possible."

Diane Korman, Coordinating Producer for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was very excited to assist Big Mama. "No one is more deserving of the generous scholarship. We couldn't be happier for Big Mama and her kids."

The Big Mama-Nelnet Scholarship Fund will be presented on an upcoming episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, scheduled to air in late March.

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition:

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Tom Forman. The show airs Sundays (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.

About Nelnet:

Nelnet is one of the leading education finance companies in the United States and is focused on providing quality products and services to students and schools nationwide. Nelnet ranks among the nation's leaders in terms of total net student loan assets with $20.3 billion as of December 31, 2005. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelnet originates, consolidates, securitizes, holds, and services student loans, principally loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional information is available at

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Eric Solomon of Nelnet, +1-202-659-2258

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