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

Her Mother's Story

Her Mother's Story

More From Dena

In this video

Tagged as

Dena Simmons explains why her mother is her role model.

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

Alice Waters
Alice Waters
Food Pioneer

Alice Waters is a chef, author, activist and pioneer at the forefront of the locally grown, organic food movement. Hailed as “the mother of American cooking,” she opene...

Muriel Siebert
Muriel Siebert
First Lady of Wall Street

Muriel Siebert was the founder and president of the nationally renowned stock brokerage firm Muriel Siebert & Co. In 1967, she became the first woman to own a seat on the New Y...

Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro
Vice-Presidential Nominee

The daughter of first-generation Italian American immigrants, Ferraro (1935-2011) would later remember her mother’s fierce insistence that her talented daughter continue her ...

Alexis Jones
Alexis Jones
Female Empowerment Speaker

As a motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Alexis Jones followed her dreams and encourages young girls to do the same. She first gained worldwide exposure as one of the final cont...