Susette Kelo, 56
Plaintiff, Kelo v. City of New London, Conn.
Why she's a hero: When New London, Conn., wanted to seize her pink 1893 cottage as part of a redevelopment project, Kelo, a nurse, sued. She lost in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, but her five-year battle fueled national outrage over the way governments were invoking eminent domain to take property not for highways, parks, and the like, but for economic purposes. Forty-four states have since limited the practice. As for Kelo's old neighborhood, it's now a vacant lot.
Her current passion: Talking about eminent domain to high school students and others. "People have to be continually made aware of how wrong it was," says Kelo, 56. "It's still wrong today."
Quote: "Do I feel like I won? No, I didn't win. But other people did win. They got their properties back. People tell me all the time about towns that have passed a law limiting eminent domain."
For these MONEY heroes, helping people in the workplace learn to manage their personal finances is an assignment they don't shirk.