07/04/2012 07:38 am ET Updated Jul 05, 2012

10 Independent People Who've Taken Risks, Broken Conventions (PHOTOS)

This Fourth of July, we were inspired to round up some of the amazing men and women featured on Huff/Post50 who have declared “I am independent!” over the past year.

We've been awed and encouraged by the stories of people like David McGiffert, who took a step back from a rewarding career in Hollywood to help his daughter pursue her own dreams, and Sandra Locke, who became one of the oldest people to complete the U.S. Army's basic combat training at 51.

On a day where we think about our nation striking out on its own, we salute these men and women for doing the very same thing. From building new and fulfilling careers to getting in shape and going back to school, these 10 stories have inspired us all to take risks and embrace the spirit of the July 4 holiday by declaring ourselves independent from convention, fear and ennui.

Post 50s Declare Their Independence