(English) Social Entrepreneurs in Education at NAFSA 2011

Three young social entrepreneurs were guests at the Social Entrepreneurship Panel at the conference of the organization of international educators NAFSA 2011 in Vancouver.

Hammad Hammad

Hammad Hammad is the cofounder and president of Inspire Dreams, a nonprofit organization that provides academic, athletic, and arts-based education programs to Palestinian refugee youth in the West Bank.

“Education is the tool to empower your life. … I think everyone can do that.”

How to start?

„With the people around you. I would not have done it alone. … The trust in me. … commitment to vision.“

Kristin Hayden

Kristin Hayden is the founder and executive director of OneWorld Now!, a global leadership program that provides underserved high school students with access to leadership development and study abroad opportunities.

„As I get older I pay less attention to the obstacles. … I think nobody of us could have predicted the way. … Its beyond us. Its not about individuals. … I feel really blessed that on a regular basis the kids tell us that they are transformed. … 99% of the students finishing our program go on to college. … It really changes the trajectories. … Now we are looking behind the pattterns of the problem and , we aim at system change.“

How to start?

“A board with prety established people. Heavy-weights basically. The other thing: partnerships, its all about partnerships. You dont have to reinvent the wheel.”

Jessica Lax

Jessica Lax is the social entrepreneur in residence at Causeway Work Centre and cofounder of The Otesha Project.

„After the travel through Kenya there was the reflection of how disconnected we are. … It was something I had to do. There was no other option. Seeing that problem I could not go away. … Its a lot of these everyday moments. It feels more like a calling, the constant feedback, these little moments that show that it is about something bigger.“

What was your first step?

„We made a list of authors who wrote great books and we just contacted them and they said „yes“. … I am part of a movement. What I do creates the world I want to see.

Moderator Belle Puri: „The lesson of this session is simple: You can do this as well.“