Wendy Kopp

Alexander Ho for TIME

Ambitious Beginnings
While still a student at Princeton University, Wendy Kopp developed a proposal to create a national teaching corps. Aimed at addressing education inequality in the United States, the idea gained traction upon her graduation, when she was able to raise $2.5 million, which she used to found Teach for America. Twenty years later, her ambitious endeavor has trained some of the nation's best and brightest college graduates to become teachers, lifetime leaders and thereby helped over 440,000 kids receive a stronger education.

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