Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Be Fearless

Be Fearless

More From Dena

In this video

Tagged as

How can we inspire confidence in young women? 

Dena 's Biography

Source of Strength: Her mother
Philosophy on Life: Practice kindness everywhere you can.
Biggest Fear: Being powerless.
A Lesson in Sharing: She grew up in a one bedroom apartment in the Bronx that she shared with her mother and two sisters.

Dena Simmons is an activist, an educator, and also a student. Born to a resilient mother who escaped Antigua to come to the US, Simmons was raised in the Bronx and hopes to stay there. After graduating with honors from Middlebury College, Simmons returned to the Bronx through Teach for America as a middle school teacher. While she may teach in a classroom, she often learns outside of one. In 2007 she traveled to Antigua as a health volunteer for the Directorate of Gender Affairs to provide better health services for Dominican sex workers. She received a Fulbright grant to study the collaboration between schools and health agencies to prevent teen pregnancy in the Dominican Republic. She is also a 2004 Harry S. Truman Scholar and 2010 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is currently studying for her Doctorate of Education at Columbia University, Teachers College. Her research is focused on teacher preparedness as it relates to bullying in the school setting.

Related Videos

Shelby Knox
Shelby Knox
Feminist Organizer

At the young age of 15, Shelby Knox was organizing her community to fight for sex education in her conservative town of Lubbock, Texas. Shelby continues to travel across the Unite...

Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Sex Therapist

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a beloved sex therapist whose frank talk while spreading what she’s coined as “sexual literacy” has reached millions through radio and tele...

Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns
CEO, Xerox Corporation

"I'm a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York," Ursula Burns told Fast Company in 2011. "Not a lot intimidates me." It’s a stance that has se...

Rebecca Morris
Rebecca Morris
Abstract Painter

Rebecca Morris is known for revitalizing abstract painting through her acclaimed artwork. Among her many accomplishments, Morris is the recipient of the 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship,...