As you hopefully already know, Temkin Group has labeled 2017, The Year of Purpose. We want to raise awareness to the relatively untapped power of purpose.
So I was thrilled to see the AARP Purpose Prize™, which recognizes outstanding work by people age 50 and over that is focused on advancing social good.
Here are the five winners, I urge you to read the links to each of their stories:
- Cynthia Barnett, founder and CEO, Amazing Girls Science
Retired high school administrator Barnett was disappointed to see girls losing interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), so she created Amazing Girls Science. Through activities like coding camps, robotics workshops, and hackathons, the nonprofit inspires young girls to consider STEM-focused careers.
- Reid Cox, co-founder and CFO, iFoster
Cox and his wife Serita, a former foster child, put their tech company experience to work in order to help families navigate the challenges of foster care. Their online community, iFoster, connects foster children and families with highly needed financial, educational, and social support resources.
- James Farrin, executive director, The Petey Greene Program
In 2007, former business consultant Farrin gathered 20 students from his alma mater Princeton University to tutor prison inmates studying for the GED. The Petey Greene Program — named for a former inmate-turned-activist and popular 70s- and 80s-era radio/TV host — has flourished, with students from 30 colleges now tutoring 1,500 individuals in 34 facilities.
- Celeste Mergens, founder and CEO, Days for Girls
Mergens started Days for Girls eight years ago to supply young girls in a Kenyan orphanage with feminine hygiene products so they wouldn’t have to miss school during their periods. This nonprofit has helped 800,000 women and girls worldwide, sidestepping cultural taboos to educate them about their bodies.
- Mike Weaver, Founder, Weaver & Concerned Citizens of Aiken/Atlanta Now
Former college professor Weaver teaches the value of public service by bringing teens and adults together for service-learning trips to communities in need. From cleaning vacant lots to creating community gardens, Weaver and Concerned Citizens of Aiken/Atlanta Now is making a difference in the lives and futures of its participants as well as the recipients of their volunteerism. Weaver is also the recipient of 2017 Andrus Award for Intergenerational Excellence, named after AARP’s founder.
The bottom line: Stories of great purpose are always worth celebrating!