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NRTA's 16th Annual With Our Youth Awards

Recognizing the exceptional community service of retired educators nationwide

NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community creates real possibilities to strengthen America's working and retired education community by protecting its financial security and fostering collaboration and volunteerism.

The NRTA With Our Youth! Program was established to provide opportunities for retired educators and youth to work together to address the needs of youth and the broader community. State and local retired educators association (REA) volunteers use the resources provided by NRTA to organize local self-sustaining service projects.

In 1997, NRTA made a three-year pledge at the President’s Summit for America’s Future to serve 1.5 million youth in 2,000 communities with a total of 45 million service hours through the REAs. That goal was exceeded, and the program continues today. Each year, the organization provides national NRTA With Our Youth! volunteer awards to recognize outstanding work of state and local REAs, as well as individual volunteers. More information is available here.

The recipients of NRTA's 16th Annual With Our Youth! awards were chosen for outstanding service to youth by an independent selection panel.

Dara Dann, vice president for NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community, said about the award winners, “Across the nation, educators remain active in retirement and continue to improve the lives of children and their local communities. These volunteers symbolize the giving spirit of the NRTA With Our Youth! Award. We thank them for their steadfast passion to serve America’s youth who are in need of support from a caring adult.”

2015 Excellence award recipients:

Local Category

Blair County Chapter, Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR)

Situated in central Pennsylvania, the Blair County Chapter volunteers of PASR are tackling a number of key issues confronting their local community—lack of school supplies, emergency housing, food insecurity and higher education funding. All of this work is vitally important to the state, given its economic challenges. Some 20 percent of children live in poverty while Pennsylvania’s overall poverty rate is 14 percent, according to Spotlight on Poverty.

The Blair County Chapter is empowering children and helping the local community through four key programs. First, retired teachers supported the Stuff the Bus program. Volunteers worked to collect and distribute school supplies to 750 schoolchildren in the county lacking the resources to purchase the materials needed to succeed in the classroom. Next, at the Teen Center in Altoona, retired educators helped to provide emergency shelter for more than 2,000 teens who are runaways, homeless or in need of an intervention. And through the Mountain Lion Backpack program, retired teachers helped meet the nutritional needs of more than 600 at-risk children each week with backpacks filled with healthy food to last the weekend. Retired educators also served as student mentors with Project Soar, a program that provides hope and financial support for local high school youth who otherwise might be unable to attend college.

These programs, with the support of volunteer retired teachers, are making a meaningful impact on the lives of many Pennsylvanians.

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More Information

NRTA's History

Learn more about NRTA's history and founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. Read

NRTA With Our Youth! Awards

Retired educators have given back to their communities in many ways. Read how they have made a difference in the lives of our youth. Read


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