8. The Life Story of Michaela DePrince
In 1999 4-year-old Michaela DePrince was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone, having lost both her parents to a civil war. But when she found a picture of a ballerina in an old magazine, "it gave me hope," she recalls. She squirreled away the photo until she was adopted by a couple from New Jersey, who enrolled her in dance class. In 2012 DePrince became the youngest member of the acclaimed Dance Theater of Harlem; next she'll be touring with the Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company. Onstage, "I feel like I'm not even in my body," she says. "I still can't believe I get to do everything I always dreamed of."