Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Miriam Lira-Hickerson

Age: 40
Hometown: Las Vegas
Cause: Consumer protection

After moving to Nevada from Mexico in 2006, it occurred to Lira-Hickerson that her unfamiliarity with the U.S. way of life made it easier for businesses to take advantage of her. Partly because of that, Lira-Hickerson, a former energy-industry marketing executive, started up a firm with the goal of helping people settle consumer disputes, such as a problem with a landlord or lender. She now hosts a weekly radio show devoted to consumer protection on a local Spanish-language station, and last year was appointed to a state post focused on helping minorities guard against consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices.

Says Lira-Hickerson: