Professional footballer (that’s soccer player to Americans), Joanna Lohman, was a breakout star at Penn State and a top scorer for the Philadelphia Independence, a Women’s Professional Soccer franchise. She now plays for DC United Women, and is expanding her reach in the world of professional sports. After visiting 20 countries in search of the best training environments, Lohman founded JoLi Academy with teammate Lianne Sanderson to bring soccer clinics and mentorship to female athletes in the developing world. In addition to increasing visibility and support for women’s soccer, Lohman aims to mentor young athletes and increase their opportunities to secure post-secondary athletic scholarships. This year JoLi Academy traveled to one of the poorest areas of India to promote soccer as a platform for girls’ physical health, self-confidence and empowerment. “I have always believed that you should do what you love and love what you do. As a professional athlete and the co-founder of JoLi Academy, I live by this motto,” Lohman says. “Every day, I have the opportunity to positively impact the social status of women. Through sport, I am able to make a difference and there is no better feeling.”
Drum roll, please! We’re excited to present this year’s 100 Women We Love—our most diverse group of out entertainers, artists, athletes, activists, business principals and elected officials yet. Each of these women is a superstar in her own right. Their achievements and contributions shape our lives —and elevate us in the eyes of the world . They’re working to raise LGBT awareness, increase our visibility and quicken our progress toward a just society.
We are extremely proud to present the class of 2012. There are no rankings or numbers. They are all leaders.