Who: Nancy Lublin, CEO, Do Something
Instant Gratification: Nancy Lublin has never been content with the status quo. "I see a problem," the 43-year-old self-described "serial social entrepreneur" says, "and I ask: What's the most immediate hands-on thing I can do?"
You May Know Her From: Her first hands-on thing was Dress for Success, a nonprofit that has provided professional clothes and career counseling to more than 700,000 disadvantaged women worldwide.
Next! Six years later, in 2002, she took on a new challenge: turning then-failing nonprofit Do Something into a pioneering, 2.5-million-member-strong youth organization to help young social entrepreneurs, ages 13 to 25, take action on causes they care about.
Success Story: Sixteen-year-old Emily-Anne Rigal, who was ruthlessly bullied in her Virginia high school, used a $500 seed grant from DoSomething.org to start WeStopHate.org, which aims to stop bullying by helping teens raise their self-esteem through social media campaigns. "Teens really care," Lublin says. "We give them ways to turn caring into making an impact."
New Genius Idea: Crisis Text Line, which gives teens access to free emotional support and real-time information from trained specialists via text, is what she came up with after receiving numerous harrowing texts for help from her organization's members. "It got to a point where I said, 'We can't just keep triaging; we have to address this.'" And so, of course, she did.
Photo via Peter Hapak