Hebah Fischer

Hebah Fischer | Class of 2011

Social Entrepreneurship Is 'How You Change the World,' Graduate Says

When Hebah Fischer arrived on the Grounds of the University of Virginia four years ago, her role model was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I had my whole life planned out. I was going to study economics and international affairs and I wanted to be the next Ben Bernanke," she said over coffee on a recent Wednesday. "But I don't want to be him anymore."

As she prepares to graduate May 22 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a degree in global development studies, her new hero is Nobel Peace Prize laureate and microfinance champion Muhammad Yunus.

Her transformation began in her second year, when Fischer – a natural internationalist who was born in Washington, D.C., to Egyptian and American parents, lived in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Bahrain – went to her first Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development meeting at the invitation of a friend.

SEED was established in 2008. Its members are committed to fostering sustainable development in communities around the world through social entrepreneurship, an increasingly popular movement that identifies and solves social problems on a large scale.

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