Born the daughter of the late legendary boxer and activist Muhammad Ali and Veronica Porche Ali, she grew up listening to her father say “service to others is the rent that you pay for your room here on Earth,” Ali shared with Kiplinger.com. With his words as a constant reminder, the 40-year-old has made it part of her life’s mission to work with organizations whose goal is to positively impact communities near and far.
That’s why she decided to partner with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and serve as an ambassador for their Difference Maker 100 initiative. The company, a provider of financial services in the academic, medical and research industries, is celebrating its centennial anniversary by honoring 100 professionals in the nonprofit sector affecting change in communities across the globe. TIAA will award $10,000 to each of this year’s recipients in an effort to help them build the organization they work for. “It’s important to help others who are doing good,” Ali says, “and I like to support causes that embody that.” TIAA will also be performing community service activities in local neighborhoods for 100 days.
We spoke with Ali about the collaboration, her transition from boxing to entrepreneurship (she has a hair styling product line, a new cookbook and a lifestyle podcast that boasts 1 million downloads to date), how she balances work and raising two young kids, the worst money mistake she’s ever made and much more.