Name: Erica Courtney
Hometown: Dania Beach, Florida
Project Idea: Biodiversity and Company, a nature-based business focused on protecting the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador through the sale of carbon credits
Sound bite: "I tend not to look at things as hurdles, but as challenges. I went through flight training in the U.S. Cavalry in 1997, just when it had opened its doors to women. I learned that if people were ignorant, fine, let them be ignorant. My job in life is not to change their opinion— it's just to do the best work I can, and eventually they'll come around."
Name: Christina Melton Crain
Project Idea: Amachi Texas, a mentoring program for children of incarcerated offenders
Sound bite: "In my seven years serving as the first female Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, I've been able implement a number of programs, like Amachi Texas, that service offenders and their children. I feel these initiatives have truly changed lives. And to me there is no greater cause."
Name: Mildred C. Crump
Hometown: Newark, New Jersey
Project Idea: A program to empower high school girls living in housing projects to make good decisions in their lives
Sound bite: "Many young women in public housing are remarkably talented and want to lead productive lives; they just don't know how to make it happen. Hopefully the time spent with us will restore their faith in themselves. If we can accomplish our goals of empowerment, they will become change agents in public housing and in the city of Newark."
Name: Camille Cyprian
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Project Idea: The Creative Arts Policy Institute, which engages urban young people in public policy through creative arts and media
Sound bite: "I hope to influence inner city youth policy in a positive way. It seems to me that this is a piece of the policy realm that is often overlooked or used to criminalize young people instead of investing in and developing them."
Name: Rebecca Dallet
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Project Idea: To advocate for change in her community while serving as judge elect in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Sound bite: "Women Rule! helped me make the connection between my new job as a judge and my desire to help my community rid itself of the problems brought on by poverty and violence. I realized this is not something that needs to happen outside of work hours but is intimately connected to my work: The programs I can help foster will help the people I see in court each day."
Name: Jeanne Dasaro
Hometown: Dorchester, Massachusetts
Project Idea: The New Prosperity Initiative, a network providing comprehensive support services to people struggling with poverty
Sound bite: "It was refreshing to spend a weekend with the highly dedicated and motivated women of Women Rule!, who have turned out to be wonderful resources, personally and professionally. They're now members of my newly formed 'kitchen cabinet': With these women I can talk about my real hopes and goals and about the issues keeping me from getting more impact from my actions."
Name: Cerelyn Davis
Hometown: Douglasville, GA
Project Idea: Sisters-In-Law, a support network for women in law enforcement that also encourages girls to consider the profession by offering real-life role models
Sound bite: "I've had to work above and beyond to deal with men not accepting me as a credible leader. A policewoman doesn't get respect until she runs a robber down. But women in these roles contribute so much. I've had experiences where my presence prevented the situation from turning into a shoot-out. And there are some things I can tell a battered woman, things that aren't so protocol."
Name: Andrea Dean
Hometown: Kapaau, Hawaii
Project Idea: A consulting business that works with businesses and government to enhance environmental sustainability in Hawaii
Sound bite: "At Women Rule! Cheryl Dorsey said, 'Own your issue fully and drive to the solution. It's all about the results.' I think until I heard that, I was more self-centered. It was all about my business and my success. I suddenly saw my green coaching and consulting business as the vehicle, not the destination. What really matters are the results."
Name: Tammy Dobrez
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Project Idea: A social venture bringing together artisans, community residents, and businesses to address homelessness in New York City
Sound bite: "My trajectory changed when I read about the founder of Common Ground Community in New York City. Her work astonished me. I moved from Chicago to work for the organization because the notion of challenging the traditional views of housing the homeless and also creating well designed, beautiful buildings was so appealing. I still have the article to this day as a reminder to continue to believe that anything is possible."
Name: Anne Dodge
Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project Idea: A program encouraging historic preservation and economic development along Route 66 by connecting motel owners—of which half are East Indian—with preservation-related grants, resources, and information
Sound bite: "I wrote my master's thesis at MIT about Route 66, and I was shy about it: It seemed lightweight compared to serious issues my peers were taking on. But as I got into it I realized this is not at all frivolous: A particular population of Americans is physically present on the road but not present in conversations about its identity and historic preservation. I want to change the narrative of Route 66, making it more honest and inclusive."