Angela Martinez– Land ‘O Lakes, Florida: After a long marriage, Angela found herself divorced and needing a job. She taught herself how to do basic construction and ended up working with The Center for Women in Tampa to help start the SHIP program. The SHIP program’s goal was to teach women who needed job skills how to do basic home repairs. Single-handedly Angela helped save hundreds of homes by fixing up homes owned by elderly people who were poor and facing eviction. After retirement, she started volunteering her time to teach dancing and sculpting to Alzheimer patients. She also is the main character in “PowerStories”, a show about her life, and other strong women from Tampa Bay.
Jennifer Pedraza– Tarpon Springs, Florida: Jennifer didn’t just coordinate Florida’s activities for The National Million Mom March, She wrote news releases, organized meetings and hosted the one hundred people who traveled by bus to Washington D.C. She helped with the march because she wanted to help since her mom was too busy with her other 7 children and working on her Ph.D. She felt strongly about the issue of gun violence because of the violence her siblings have seen in their short young lives. During her last couple of high school years, she has served as a youth ambassador with People to People and traveled to Australia and New Zealand. She also serves a youth facilitator for Federation of Families and is a high school student.
Jennifer Sasso– Tampa, Florida: Jennifer founded Creative Kids because she needed to do 22 hours of community service to fulfill a middle school requirement. The first phase of the art project was for children staying at The Spring, a domestic violence shelter in Tampa, Florida. Eventually, she expanded the project to include Tampa Children’s Hospital, Tampa General’s Children’s Unit, The Children’s Cancer Care Center, The Children’s Home, A Brighter Community, and the YMCA. She now has a small army of friends and family who assist her with Creative Kids. They help pack two hundred and forty-five art bags for distribution each month. She is a high school student.
JJ Watts – Tampa, Florida: JJ created a sculpture of an 8-foot stick figure holding a limp child. Her goal with the sculpture was to raise awareness of family violence issues. She takes the sculpture around to various high profile places to create conversation and awareness.
Cheryl Chandler– Sandy, Utah: For over two years Cheryl has volunteered her time to teach a 16-week course on life dynamics at the Utah State Prison for women. Her class helps women make healthy life changes.
Sandy Murphy – Houston, Texas: Sandy has dedicated her life’s work to helping others through her weekly TV talk shows. Her facial scars from domestic violence help her to get across the themes she discusses honestly and openly.
Naomi Berman–Potash– Mequon, Wisconsin: Naomi is a director of sales and marketing for hotels and was inspired to start Project Debby by a newspaper article about battered women’s shelters lacking space. Project Debby allows women to stay in area hotels for up to 3 nights.
Katina Johnstone – New York, New York: After Katina’s husband was murdered she co-founded New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, organized three national silent marches to bring attention to gun violence. She is co-filer of a landmark, successful lawsuit against 15 gun manufacturers to mandate handgun registration and childproof locks.
Christine Smith– Howard, Colorado: She founded Dreams of Freedom, Inc. in 1999 with her own money. Her program offers an interactive newspaper that inmates create, furnishings for children’s meeting rooms at prisons, personal hygiene items, as well as music and nature videos for their libraries.
Marissa Maurer– Washington, DC: Marissa volunteers with World Organization Against Torture USA. She works diligently to advocate for women who have been abused (or may be abused if deported) and are facing deportation.
Ndofor Magdalene Bingum & Asong Teresia Ajab – Cameroon: These two women are volunteers who help battered women. They have worked to abolish corporal punishment in the primary school system, as well as to eradicate child abuse and to establish equal pay for women.
Bernie Walsh– Dublin, Ireland: Bernie developed a community-based project that became the blueprint for Sunflower Recycling. Against all odds and poor health, she created awareness and culture to encourage recycling in her community. She has generated jobs for women and improved the quality of life for the disadvantaged. With her help and guidance, many other women’s projects have emerged in Ireland.
Bell Mc Guiness – Belfast, Northern Ireland: Bell’s husband was killed by the RUC during the Northern Ireland “troubles” and was left to raise her 6 children in a community filled with fear. She has worked hard as a role model developing both herself and her community to become aware of its issues and how to create a better life for families.
Irene Boucher– Dublin, Ireland: Irene and a small team of supporters converted a derelict building owned by the City Corporation to create the first after-school facility for Dublin’s inner city children. This community based after school project has now spread to many more sites and is staffed almost entirely by previously unemployed mothers and single parents. Staff is trained in special skills associated with playcare, sports, arts, and safety.
Nana Semidi IV– Logba, Ghana: She has risked her life to change violent customs such as female genital mutilation, widowhood rituals, and domestic violence. She founded the group Logba Mother and Child Health Group.
Tara Upreti – Kathmandu, Nepal: Tara is an attorney who runs a battered women’s shelter in Nepal. She provides free legal support and counseling to victims. She also works tirelessly to help women wrongfully imprisoned in a country where women can be arrested, tortured and sometimes murdered for being accused of being a witch.
Larisa Vasilyeva – Chelyabinsk, Russia: She founded and leads the “Women of the 90th” who are businesswomen helping women and their children who are at risk to becoming part of Russia’s sex trafficking industry. Their goal is to stop sex trade traffickers.