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Lisa Wardell, CEO of Chicago’s Adtalem Global Education (formerly DeVry), recently donated $1 million of her own money to After School Matters, a nonprofit that offers extracurricular programs to Chicago high school students. She says the donation was an easy thing to do since she benefited from similar programs as a kid growing up in Maryland. Wardell says her upbringing inspired her to become financially independent, have a strong work ethic and maintain a sense of responsibility, traits that helped her become the only black female CEO at a Fortune 1000. When she joined the firm, still known as DeVry, she strove to quickly settle claims that the company misled prospective students so the company could move forward. Wardell says she would love to meet Bill Gates because he has an incredible social conscience and is willing to make impactful change. She would also love to take a tech-innovation class with Gates focused on helping communities in emerging markets.

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