Ivory Freeman Gives Hope—and Prom Dresses—to L.A.’s Underserved Girls

The founder of the Bessie Morris Foundation teaches leadership skills to inner-city kids

Why she does it: I’m a deputy probation officer, and I have a lot of females on my caseload. I can see how these women’s lives might have been different had they made different choices. That’s why it’s important we invest in young girls and that we work on their self-esteem.

Her ten-year plan: I want the foundation to be more about education, with tutorial services and field trips, which are especially important for kids from the inner city. I want to broaden their horizons with theater and Clippers games and museum visits and community service.

Her secret to success: I remember that what I have didn’t just come to me. I’ve had incredible women who helped me in my life. When things become overwhelming, I call my mentor and she reminds me to work hard and do my best but not be so hard on myself.