34, New Orleans
Occupation: Director of captive animal law enforcement, PETA
What sparks her mettle: Fighting the good fight
"I've always had an affinity for animals, and when I was a teenager I decided to spend my life advocating for them. I stopped eating meat at 14, and spent my high school years reading up on factory farming and other animal abuses. I wanted to right those wrongs. I decided to go to law school because I felt that was how I could do the most good. But an important aspect of a career in law is the ability to communicate with people, and I'm a naturally shy person—my mom still brings up how I refused to speak to any of my preschool classmates. I've had to push myself to be more outgoing. What keeps me strong is my conviction. It's very black-and-white: A hen shouldn't spend her whole life in a cage so we can eat eggs when we don't need to eat eggs; a circus elephant shouldn't be beaten so we can have a few minutes of entertainment. When something tests my resolve, I tap into the notion that what I'm doing is right."