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November 2, 2007

5 Women To Learn From

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Bounce Back

DEBORAH KENNY, 42

THEN: President of Sesame Street Publishing; seven years ago, her husband died of leukemia

THE MOMENT: Losing my husband was so devastating that there was no way I could get up in the morning and do anything other than help people. A lightbulb went off when I discovered the charter-school model, where you run schools as an entrepreneur, not as part of a bureaucracy.
I had enough money for my family to live on for six months. At the end of that time, I was standing at the counter at the Gap with my daughter, and they wouldn't take my credit card or check. But I had faith that if I was meant to do this, I was going to put every ounce of my energy and money into it. Right after that, our first seed money came through - a $2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

NOW: Founder & CEO of Harlem Village Academies, a network of charter schools for underserved children in NYC; it's so successful that schools chancellor Joel Klein carries around its data as proof that low-income children can learn at high levels.

Check out The Marie Claire Guide to Getting Ahead
The game of life? Win it, easy. How to put your bank account and your career in fast-forward.


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