- Fighting violence against women
- Age: 20
- School: Southern Illinois University
- Hometown: Chicago
- Gender: Female
- Category: Social Activism and Community Service
In 2009, after La'Nesha survived an episode of teen-dating violence during her junior year in high school, she wanted to transform her story of "pain and shame to words of wisdom to help other teen girls." As a member of A Long Walk Home's Girl/Friends Leadership Institute in Chicago, she helped lead social-action campaigns and marches to advocate against domestic violence. Three years later, she sits on the board of directors, having published her writing and photography in the institute's art book. She was also selected to participate in A Long Walk Home's Courage Tour, hosted by John Legend and Gloria Steinem at Steinem's house in New York City.
Currently, La'Nesha is a sophomore at Southern Illinois University, enrolled as a premed major and a women's studies minor, and her courage and determination to end sexual violence against girls -- and boys -- hasn't wavered. "I plan to continue to work toward solving these problems," she said, "and not just offering solutions."