AGE: 37
OCCUPATION: creative director and youth advocate
HOMETOWN: Chicago’s Southeast Side
LIVES IN: West Town

The longtime girlfriend of the Chicago restaurateur Jerry Kleiner, Marisa Molinaro is a familiar face on the city’s social circuit. Last fall, she entered a competition to get a show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and displayed an array of talents in her video submission, including playing the violin and boxing. (She made it to the finals but didn’t win.) These days, Molinaro is focused on her next project—, her soon-to-be-launched video-diary website for teens. “It’s based on an online social network for teenagers, a way of talking from an emotional point of view without worrying about parents logging in,” explains Molinaro, a former elementary-school teacher. “Having a mentor helps teens see beyond themselves and realize their circumstances aren’t forever.”




Photograph: Maria Ponce