Sarah DougherName: Sarah Dougher
Age: 40
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Project Idea: The Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an international coalition of camps dedicated to girls' empowerment through music
Sound bite: "We have a code of values to ensure the feminist spirit of our camps. We're about using the tool of rock 'n' roll to foster girls' confidence, cooperation, and self-esteem. We're giving them an opportunity to really kick ass. We want to differentiate ourselves from 'rock camps' where girls learn how to pluck their eyebrows or try to be the next Mouseketeer."

Lisa DunsterName: Lisa Dunster
Age: 41
Hometown: Loveland, Ohio
Project Idea: Operation Reconnect, a nonprofit organization assisting military personnel in reconnecting with their communities, employers, families, and other veterans in their area
Sound bite: "We haven't realized our civic responsibility to assist our service men and women in adapting to society when they come home. We expect them to jump back into civilian life as if nothing happened. To allow another generation to maneuver their way back into their lives alone or without greater support is unconscionable to me."

Jennie DurantName: Jennie Durant
Age: 31
Hometown: Denver
Project Idea: The HoneyMoon Project, a program to teach business development skills to women in Africa through beekeeping
Sound bite: "One of the coolest things for me at Women Rule! was the communications boot camp. Lisa Witter imparted to us that men tend to be comfortable plugging themselves as experts—even if they don't know what they're talking about—but women think there must be someone else more knowledgeable. It's key for women to change the way we perceive ourselves and speak with confidence."

Evelyn Fernandez-KetchamName: Evelyn Fernandez-Ketcham
Age: 41
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Project Idea: The New Heights Neighborhood Center, an organization engaging disconnected young adults from the Washington Heights community and transitioning them to sustainable employment and education
Sound bite: "At Women Rule! Senator Mee Moua inspired me when she asked us, 'Are you willing to sacrifice for your cause?' My answer was definitely. I'm ready to go the extra mile and take the risk to do things differently in order to make our society a better place. I'd been considering running for political office, and after this I thought, 'Wow, this is really possible.'"

Stephanie FialloName: Stephanie Fiallo
Age: 41
Hometown: Forest Hills, New York
Project Idea: Tierra Sana, a community-based, healthy fast food restaurant
Sound bite: "I hadn't participated in policy-making or politics before attending Women Rule!; it was not my priority. But I left realizing I must be involved. I used to think as long as I do my thing, other people can handle the country. But I'm part of this country. It was a big shift in my thinking."

Catherine Hedgeman    
Name: Catherine Hedgeman
Age: 33
Hometown: Albany, New York
Project Idea: Stakeholders, a sustainable communities initiative to cultivate civic engagement in the New York Capital Region
Sound bite: "I'm a third-generation Albany resident. It's always been a place I loved, and I noticed a lot of young people leaving after they graduated from college. Albany's a great place to live and work—my goal is to get that across."

Sonya Henderson
Name: Sonya Henderson
Age: 44
Hometown: Fayetteville, Georgia
Project Idea: GirlBiz, a program in which teen girl entrepreneurs create, develop, and run their own businesses
Sound bite: "My mother died when I was 5, and I was taken in by my grandmother, who had 16 children of her own. She worked as a maid, then came home and looked after us. I rarely saw her sleeping and I remember asking her how she did it all. She said, 'Honey, a woman can make a way out of no way.' That's never left me."

Sue Hildick
Name: Sue Hildick
Age: 43
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Project Idea: The Chalkboard Project, a nonprofit working to improve K-12 student achievement in Oregon
Sound bite: "At Women Rule! we were asked to stand if we're passionate about children's issues; to stay standing if we're passionate about women's issues; and finally, to stay standing if we're passionate enough to run for office to impact them. I stayed standing. Running for office was an early career goal of mine, but I haven't thought much about it lately. I realized that vision is still a part of me."

Sheila Hodgkin
Name: Sheila Hodgkin
Age: 40
Hometown: Redlands, California
Project Idea: XRtainment Zone, a family wellness facility that makes exercise fun through physically interactive video and computer games
Sound bite: "Women Rule! was like drinking pure, clean water after biking to the peak of a mountain. I feel validated, having taken in knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration to quench my thirst for success and leadership. It was an adrenaline-high experience that has propelled me to the next level of my business."

Tori Hogan
Name: Tori Hogan
Age: 26
Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project Idea: Beyond Good Intentions, a social enterprise using film and education to catalyze a dialogue about what kinds of international aid programs really work
Sound bite: "This idea emerged out of six years of frustrating experiences with international aid in Africa. Every visit left me grappling with the question 'had I really helped?' My breaking point came on the Somali border when a 16-year-old refugee told me aid workers kept coming in and asking the same questions, but nothing had changed in over a decade. I decided to dedicate my life to finding out what works."

Photos: Ben Goldstein


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