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Traveling the world, a 'social entrepreneur' educating the disadvantaged
by Anna Maria Cornell
Maharishi University of Management Alumni Newsletter Translate This Article
10 July 2013
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Annie Blecher has found a way to see the world—and make it a better place at the same time. She has been to 20 countries since graduating from Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in the USA in 2005.
Now in charge of business development at Maharishi Institute, a nonprofit university in Johannesburg, South Africa, Annie and her team have helped educate some 5,500 disadvantaged youth—students who likely would have remained in hopeless poverty otherwise. ''Until poor children have access to equal opportunities in education that can change their lives, we won't have true equality here,'' she says. ''Consciousness-Based Education is the tool we're using to make it happen.''
Annie discovered a passion for international work while a student at MUM. She studied in Italy, India, and China as part of MUM's Rotating University.
After graduating, she taught the Transcendental Meditation technique in California schools, and later took a job in Beijing at a partner university to MUM which also used Consciousness-Based Education.
In 2008 she came to Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, where she learned about social entrepreneurship, which ''is about making a difference sustainably,'' says Annie. ''Social entrepreneurs are business people who want to do business in ways that uplift society and change inequalities.''
''Going to MUM gave me the courage to go out into the world,'' she comments. ''I feel comfortable anywhere in the world. MUM's system of education gave me that deep inner stability. I don't think I'd be here today if it wasn't for that.''
Annie is currently at work completing the MBA she started in Beijing, through Maharishi Institute, which has set up a corporate university with the second largest telecommunications company in Johannesburg. Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, is the distance education provider.
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