Angelo AdamsAngelo Adams was the leader of more than 100 soldiers in Iraq. A former army captain and a West Point graduate, Angelo says he is a fierce competitor. "I'm willing to sacrifice whatever it takes in order to be the biggest giver on Oprah's Big Give ," he says.
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Sheg AranmolateAt age 18, Sheg Aranmolate came to the United States from Nigeria by himself, with nothing but a duffle bag. The 24-year-old has since earned a master's degree in applied molecular biology. "I want to show the MySpace and YouTube generation that it's hip to empower people," he says.
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Rachael HollingsworthRachael Hollingsworth is a survivor. Born in Brooklyn, she grew up a victim of gang violence as well as sexual and physical abuse. "Helping people less fortunate than myself gave me perspective—there's always someone who has it worse than you," she says.
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Cameron JohnsonAt 9 years old, Cameron Johnson started his first business. By 17, his net worth had reached $1 million. "I always find a way to make something work instead of accepting that it can't be done," he says.
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Eric KleinWhile Eric Klein may have modeled for Men's Health , he's not just another pretty face. He is also the founder of a nonprofit organization that enables people who make charitable donations to actually see how their money is being spent. "I always wanted to create an outlet that is all about accountability," he says.
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Brandi MilloyAs a four-time title holder in the Miss America Organization, Brandi Milloy knows that some people will do just about anything to win. At every pageant, Brandi says she had one goal in mind: "I always wanted to out-do the other girl in volunteer hours."
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Stephen PalettaStephen Paletta is a devoted father of three and refers to his wife as his best friend. The CEO of his own company, Stephen says a trip to Rwanda in 2004 changed his life. "The images I saw would not allow me to just go back and worry about making my own money."
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Kim Prentiss"There are a few things you can do when you go through a midlife crisis—get a boob job, get Botox or truly turn your life around," Kim Prentiss says. She admits that until recently, she only thought about herself. "I want the next half of my life to be about giving back," she says.
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Marlene SnipesMarlene Snipes says she's like the Energizer Bunny—she just keeps going. The Amtrak service attendant regularly uses her incredible enthusiasm to encourage the people around her. "I'm dedicated to being excited about life," she says.
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Carlana StoneAt 17, Carlana Stone got into a car with friends after a night of drinking. They were in an accident, and everyone walked away—except her. "I broke my back, and my legs felt like they were on fire," she says. Today, Carlana is trying to dispel the myth that people struck by tragedy are victims forever.
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Published on June 25, 2008