Making a difference doesn’t stop as you age. Millions of older adults are using their experience to give back, solve problems, and change lives. The AARP Purpose Prize™ award recognizes the work of these fellows who are using their life experience to make a better future for all.
Founder and Chair, Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
San Carlos, Calif.
After surviving lung cancer in 2004, petroleum industry executive Bonnie Addario found a new purpose in life: establishing a foundation to eradicate and remove the stigma from one of the deadliest cancers in the world. ALCF, which empowers and educates patients, raises public awareness and funds research, is now one of the largest global philanthropies devoted to finding a cure.
CEO, Music & Youth Initiative
Music & Youth was founded by Gary Eichhorn in 2004. Music & Youth Initiative aims to provide after-school music education to underserved youth ages 10-18. The goal is to use music as a vehicle for social change and building life skills such as teamwork, listening, perseverance, and providing outlets for self-expression and creativity; ultimately building confidence and self-esteem.
Founder/ President & CEO, the MAVEN Project
The MAVEN Project recruits our medical colleagues — especially the retired and semiretired — to volunteer their specialty expertise in the service of vulnerable populations, using telehealth technology to enable remote consultation, education, and mentoring for medical providers and patients seeking care at safety net clinics for the underserved.
Executive Director, Ripple Effect Images
National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths created Ripple Effects Images, a collective of photojournalists whose work documents the plight of poor women and girls around the world and highlights the programs that are helping to empower them. Ripple’s photos and films have helped raise over $10 million to fight poverty.
Ryan’s Case for Smiles
After watching her son, Ryan, receive extensive treatment for osteosarcoma and how it affected him and her entire family, Cindy Kerr founded Ryan’s Case for Smiles. At first, Ryan’s Case for Smiles focused on the delivery of fun, bright pillowcases for children during treatment to provide comfort, distraction, familiarity, a connection to home and hope. Subsequently, the organization has grown into one of a few solely dedicated to addressing the emotional aspects of pediatric cancer and other life-changing childhood illnesses and injuries. It aims to improve the quality of life of children and their families as they undergo treatment.
Mercy Beyond Borders
Santa Clara, Calif.
Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB) forges ways for women and girls in South Sudan and Haiti living in extreme poverty to learn, connect and lead. Sister Marilyn Lacey founded the organization in 2008. The organization works to move women and girls beyond extreme poverty by educating them, connecting them with one another and equipping them with the tools to become leaders advocating for positive change.
Founder/President, the Ninash Foundation
Ashok Malhotra, founder of the Ninash Foundation, believes that illiteracy among female and minority children is at the root of issues such as overpopulation, poverty, poor health, and racial and religious conflicts in India. His foundation promotes literacy not only in India but also around the world. For the past 21 years, with the assistance of more than 300 U.S. college students and two dozen faculty members, along with members of the community, they have built seven schools for 1,700 underprivileged children in remote villages in India.
Executive Director/Founder, Crossing Point Arts Inc.
Anne H. Pollack founded Crossing Point Arts when she came to the understanding that New York City, a mecca for the arts, had neglected to turn its attention toward an underserved and invisible population. An exhaustive search online revealed the uniqueness of her idea of training teaching artists to work with trafficking survivors and holding ongoing experiential arts workshops.
Founder, Camp To Belong
Lynn Price founded Camp To Belong to reunite children like her who were placed in foster care and separated from brothers and sisters. The organization’s summer camps have hosted more than 10,000 kids in the U.S. and Australia, enabling them to have fun with their siblings, form connections and create positive, loving memories.
President, My Sistah’s Place/Golden Generations Inc.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
With over 20 years’ experience in child welfare and mental health, Juanita Suber answered the call of service and is passionate about supporting two of the most vulnerable populations: youth and elders. Through her work, her organization supports and assists them in transitional phases of life, helping youth to achieve self-sufficiency and helping seniors to maintain dignity and quality of life.