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Jess Ekstrom

While interning with a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening illnesses, Jess spent her junior year at North Carolina State University developing her company, Headbands of Hope. The company partners with retail stores and for every item sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. By the time she graduated, she had donated thousands of headbands to kids with cancer and was elected to give the commencement speech at her graduation to 20,000 people. 

Today, Headbands of Hope is in more than 2,000 stores across the U.S. and Canada, including all Ulta locations. In addition to serving as CEO of her business, Jess speaks more than 40 times a year at campuses, corporations and conferences. Jess believes that you shouldn’t have to choose between making a living and making a difference.



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