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Participant and Volunteer Stories

At AARP Foundation, a crucial measure of our success is the stories we get to share about the people we serve. They’re stories of resilience and tenacity. Of commitment and community. Most of all, they’re stories of transformation.

Here you’ll find stories about how our programs have helped people find hope, and about the volunteers who give so much of themselves to help others. If your life has been transformed by your involvement with one of AARP Foundation’s programs, we want to hear your story, too. 

Maureen Morrow: “I know how people feel when a hurricane comes and affects everything. It’s devastating.”

Learn how Maureen Morrow, a determined legal aid lawyer, helped Louisianans recover from Hurricane Ida.

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Vietress Bacon: “I just wish that other people could get out.” 

Vietress Bacon ended up in a nursing facility and couldn’t get out — until AARP Foundation helped.

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SBP: “With AARP Foundation’s generous support, [we have] rebuilt 10 homes for … Ida-impacted older adults in Louisiana.”

Read about how grantee SBP used disaster-relief support from AARP Foundation to repair and rebuild the homes of older adults in Louisiana.

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Linda Fong: “It is a joy when I get to see my students realize that they can read well.

Read Linda Fong’s essay on how tutoring with Experience Corps lets her create a meaningful connection with future generations. 

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Marielena Bencomo: “It empowers a person. I would absolutely recommend the program to other people.

Learn how Marielena Bencomo found her dream job with help from BACK TO WORK 50+.

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Lillian Shupe: “The networking was huge, but also being able to ask questions and knowing you’re not alone in this mess.”

Read how Lillian Shupe’s new job also fulfills her passion for nature, thanks to what she learned through the BACK TO WORK 50+ program.

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Lorettta Boyd SCSEP Workforce Program Participant and Her Family

Loretta Boyd (left) with her mother and children

Loretta Boyd: "The SCSEP program helped save me. It transformed my life.”

Read how Loretta Boyd overcame countless obstacles to find success, with help from AARP Foundation SCSEP.

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John Bolton: “It’s a great way to continue serving people.”

Find out why his neighbors are happy to see Property Tax-Aide volunteer John Bolton when spring rolls around.

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Janelle Riedl: “We have people who burst into tears when they find that they get a refund.”

Learn about Janelle Riedl and her team of Tax-Aide volunteers, whose commitment to their community goes beyond taxes.

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Andrew Ziccardi: “I’m determined, and I keep moving on.”

Find out how Andrew Ziccardi set his business up for success with help from Work for Yourself@50+.

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Cynthia Fernandez: "I just wanted to share the exciting news… I GOT THE JOB!”

Read how Cynthia Fernandez was able to find a new job in the middle of a pandemic.

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Willie Jean Vance: "I thought that it would give me a chance to give back.”

Read about Willie Jean, who finds teaching young kids to become great readers a moving experience.

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Alan Siegel: “It’s been a really eye-opening and rewarding volunteer experience."

Learn how Alan puts his puzzle-solving skills to good use as an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer.

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Jacquie Johnson: “They helped me get back to myself.”

Read how a difficult decision — to leave her job so she could care for her ailing mother — led Jacquie to BACK TO WORK 50+. Now she has a job she loves. 

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Denise Morgan: “People have a lot of trust in AARP Foundation’s programs.”

Read how volunteering with Tax-Aide lets Denise serve a community she says is bounded by trust, need, and caring. 

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Robert Rouse: “I’m going to teach you to read."

Read about how a retired firefighter continues to serve his community by helping young students become better readers.

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Gabe Menvielle: “Nowadays, careers are merging, and you have to know more."

Read how BACK TO WORK 50+ helped Gabe build the skills he needed to move forward after age discrimination hampered his job search.

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Lisa Edmond: "Some days I wanted to quit, but you have to keep going."

Learn how Lisa got her job groove back after she was laid off by her employer of more than 40 years. 

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Wanda Larosiliere: “Looking for work in your 60s, where do you start?"

Read how Wanda's new job hunt was radically different from the one she remembered. 

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