These men and women stand out as bold examples of leaders in their by serving and giving back to their communities.
Before 25-year-old Cpl. Christina Oliver and 39 other female Marines were deployed to interview rural Afghan women last year, the U.S. military had no point of access to the female half of the population, a critical source for strategic information, but forbidden from interacting with male soldiers. While Oliver and her cohorts secure otherwise inaccessible, life-saving input from interviewees.
When the Louisiana Housing Authority planned to raze a public housing project in 2006, Tracie Washington sued to block them in their tracks. When Louisiana shut down Charity Hospital, a New Orleans teaching medical center, Washington sued to have it reopened in 2008.
With TwitChange.com, Shaun King leveraged Twitter to address the Haitian earthquake’s aftermath. With the help of Eva Longoria, the Atlanta-based minister held the first Twitter-based charity auction, which galvanized more than 150 Twitter-savvy celebrities to raise more than $540,000; proceeds rebuilt the Miriam Center, one Haiti’s only refuges for children with developmental disabilities.
At the age of 5, philanthropist Joshua Williams decided to stomp out hunger in the Miami region — “so that all children would be as full as I am.” Since launching the Joshua’s Heart Foundation, this young heart’s mission has fed more than 7,000 people, raised more than $80,000, and distributed more than 250,000 pounds of food – all before its founder turned 10.