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

The Right Environment

The Right Environment

More From Dena

In this video

Tagged as

For Dena Simmons, the advantages or disadvantages that come from your gender or race, are dependent on the situation. 

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

Katherine G. Johnson
Katherine G. Johnson
NASA Mathematician

Katherine G. Johnson is a pioneer in American space history. A NASA mathematician, Johnson's computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shu...

Whitney Smith
Whitney Smith
Teen Advocate

Whitney Smith is the Founder of Girls For a Change, a national organization that empowers girls to create social change. Prior to founding GFC, Smith worked at the executive level ...

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer
CEO of Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer is the President and CEO of Yahoo!. Before taking the reins at Yahoo!, she spent most of her career at Google, going from one of its early engineers to Vice President...

Heather McTeer
Heather McTeer
Politician

Heather McTeer was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi, “the heart and soul of the Mississippi Delta.” After graduating from Spelman College with a BA in Sociolo...