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2018 AARP Purpose Prize Winners Skip to content

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En español | In just about every community in the country there are older adults who find unique ways to address tough social challenges and help others. The AARP Purpose Prize award recognizes the work of these winners who are using their life experience to make a better future for all.

Sayu Bhojwani

Founder and President, New American Leaders Project 

“By helping first- and second-generation Americans prepare to get on the ballot, we are working towards a fairer, multiracial democracy.”

Karen Cassidy

Executive Director, Hildegard House

“My life experiences have helped me believe I could create something bigger than myself. Seeing those in need and knowing I had the skills to do something about it was compelling.”  

Susan Cotton

Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, The Lily Project

“What’s driving Lily’s success is something I learned decades ago – give talented people the opportunity, tools and encouragement to do their best work and they will do amazing things!”   


Dr. Bettye Perkins

President & CEO, Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers (TSTT)

“Our program helps to nurture and mentor the students through high school and college. There are no shortcuts, this work requires extensive amounts of time and effort. But the payoff is great.”


Monica Kamal Spaeni

Founder, Access Ability Wisconsin

“We have a solution that is increasing independence, increasing social interaction, and decreasing depression. Our wheelchairs are like our shoes; the outdoor wheelchair is like our hiking boots.”