Name: Elizabeth Asahi Sato
Hometown: Camas, Washington
Project Idea: Rise to Excellence, a nonprofit helping single mothers reach their highest potential
Sound bite: "The minute I stepped into the ballroom at Women Rule! I felt I had come home. The spiritual energy was incredible. I did not realize until that moment that there was something missing in my life. I am a single parent, entrepreneur, business owner, and volunteer...but raising three boys on my own and working night and day has kept me isolated from a viable support structure—and for any woman leader, that is a no-no."
Name: Anjuli Sherin
Hometown: Berkeley, California
Project Idea: Leap of Love, an organization providing mental health training in developing countries, and specifically to populations affected by disaster
Sound bite: "In the U.S., there's still resistance to talking about emotions and mental health. In Pakistan, where I'm from, it's simply not believed in; therapy is completely taboo. When I visited home and said, 'Guess what, I've been working on myself from within,' my family surprised me by actually showing interest. It was a big transformative step."
Name: Jordan Silver
Hometown: Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
Project Idea: Ag Apparel, clothes uniquely designed for disabled women
Sound bite: "A lot of handicapped women don't feel quite adequate in their wardrobes among their peers. Already, being in a wheelchair, people are looking down at you. When I started researching designs, the women were saying, 'Please, don't use Velcro!' My pieces look really cute, and have dual zippers for easy removal."
Name: Freya Spielberg
Hometown: Novato, California
Project Idea: Essential Global Health, a patient-centered, technology-assisted home healthcare system operating in developing countries
Sound bite: "A lot of the efforts of barefoot doctors and community health workers fall short because it's so difficult to keep them trained, to help them follow the appropriate treatment, and to maintain accountability. My program can very easily provide them with automated information as to what kind of care is required. ... We're at the point now where we have the technology to have a huge impact on global health."
Name: Archana Sridhar
Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana
Project Idea: An initiative to create a community of giving among South Asian Americans in the United States
Sound bite: "My idea is a natural extension of my dedication to philanthropy and my South Asian identity. I think by volunteering, donating, and becoming more engaged citizens, South Asian Americans would become more a part of the fabric of this country, and would be that much stronger and influential a community for it."
Name: Jennifer Stimpson
Project Idea: Get a KIC Out of Science (KIC stands for Knowledge in Chemistry), a K-12 program encouraging students to explore science and its applicability
Sound bite: "This program shows that everyday people use chemistry. Your pharmacist is a chemist, your neighborhood baker is a chemist, and your air conditioner guy has to have some knowledge of chemistry. ... Kids see me—a minority female without that 'geeky' look—and realize you can be fly, hip, and dynamic and still be a scientist. KIC makes science relatable and tangible."
Name: Joanne Tawfilis
Hometown: Oceanside, California
Project Idea: The Art Miles Mural Project, creating a pyramid in Egypt from 12 miles of murals by worldwide artists to celebrate International Day of Peace 2010
Sound bite: "This idea started when I was working with orphans in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. They created a mural on a bullet-riddled sheet. It was there that I decided to initiate, facilitate, and create a 'mural movement.'... The project so far has visually documented the voices of hundreds of thousands of participants from over 125 countries. Because it has no language, religion, or political barriers, it is a real tool for peace building."
Name: Judi Townsend
Hometown: Oakland, California
Project Idea: Mannequin Madness, a company that rents and sells recycled mannequins
Sound bite: "Not only do we divert mannequins from the landfill, we also rent them out to nonprofits to use for auction fundraisers. Artists buy our parts to make projects, and lawyers buy them in order to demonstrate in court where someone was shot. Our business inspires people to use their creativity and imagination and demonstrates that there are all kinds of ways we can be environmentally conscious."
Name: Yesica Trujillo
Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Project Idea: The Washington State Hispanic/Latino Legislative Organization, a committee to set the legislative priorities and agenda for Latinos and Hispanics in the state of Washington
Sound bite: "My mother was an immigrant and a single parent. She always stressed education in our household. And she said that with that education comes a responsibility to give back to people who have had fewer opportunities; being a good person means helping out anybody in need."
Name: Carol Wagner
Hometown: Northbrook, Illinois
Project Idea: To equip students, parents, and teachers (grades K-8) with the knowledge and motivation to make healthy eating choices
Sound bite: "I came away from Women Rule! with the clarity that my vision is too big—for now. It's my 'north star' that will continue to guide me, yet in order to have a more immediate impact I need to revise my plan. Whatever direction I decide to go, I already have 79 women across 27 states who are willing to do whatever it takes to help me reach my goal—from refining my idea to making introductions."
We Hear You!