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How You Can Be the AARP Benefits Badass

Compete for a $50,000 prize by sharing the best membership tips and tricks

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Rock climbing, race car driving, feeding people in need, teaching people to drive safely. Doesn’t sound like what people in their later years would do with their time? Well, listen up: Older adults are living their best lives, doing meaningful work and having loads of adventures. ​ 

In fact, they’re a bunch of badasses. ​ 

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Apply: AARP Benefits Badass Contest

Win $50,000 and the title of AARP Benefits Badass by highlighting how AARP membership helps people make their money, health and happiness last as long as they do. Apply at by submitting a short video that uses your creativity to spotlight AARP’s value. (Contest rules here.)

People in their 50, 60s, 70s and beyond are busting stereotypes and using their decades of wisdom and experience to push boundaries and do things they’ve always wanted to do, regardless of age. They’re savvy about saving money, working to stay healthy and caring for their communities. No rocking chairs for these folks — unless it’s after a long day of mountain biking. ​ 

These in-the-know adults are tapping into AARP memberships and all the perks that come along with that. And guess what? You can get in on the action too — even if you’re under 50.​ 

We’re looking for someone to wear the crown of “AARP Benefits Badass” and spread the word about how the benefits of AARP membership help people make their money, health and happiness live as long as they do. This person will need to be passionate about sharing tips and tricks that can turn the masses into badasses. ​ 

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The winner of the AARP Benefits Badass contest will receive a $50,000 prize. Contestants can apply through May 29 by submitting a short video that shows off their charisma, creativity and knowledge of AARP’s value, such as our programs, tools and other membership benefits. Contestants will be asked to describe, in a few words, why they should be the AARP Benefits Badass. Apply at​

Twenty-five videos will be chosen as finalists, and from June 27 to July 24, the public will get to vote for their favorites. AARP will select and announce the winner in mid-August. ​ 

In case you want to be inspired by a few badass people, here are some who are shaping their later years the way they envision them — not to fit anyone else’s standards or opinions. ​

Video: Meet the First Person to Race a Car on 7 Continents

Renée Brinkerhoff

Denver, Colorado      

Former stay-at-home mom Brinkerhoff decided to do something extreme: race cars. She didn’t know much about auto racing, but she was committed. Before taking up the sport at age 55, she spent 20 years homeschooling her children, coaching their soccer games and driving carpools.

Now the 66-year-old Denver resident drives a vintage 1956 Porsche 356 A and does rally racing on roads, often competing for days or weeks at a time. She’s one of few female rally race drivers and has used her platform to raise close to $700,000 for charities.  

“I never would have imaged, ever, ever, ever that this is what I would be doing,” Brinkerhoff says. “And if it’s meant to be, I will continue to do this until my last breath.”

Mattie Lawrence Johnson

Chesapeake, Virginia

In the surgical waiting room at her local hospital, Johnson knows emotions run high. People are anxious, scared and worried about those they love. That’s why Johnson volunteers there — to help people get through that challenging time. ​

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She welcomes family members, helps them keep track of their loved ones’ progress and escorts them to the recovery room. “I love moving and interacting to help get the families through,” says Johnson, who is a member of AARP. ​ ​

Johnson, 67, takes the idea of service seriously. She volunteers through AARP on a variety of projects, including acting as expert speaker on AARP issues and making holiday cards for veterans in her state. She leads an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group — something she felt compelled to do after watching her father suffer with the disease. ​ ​

“Each person talks about what’s up and how they’re dealing with it,” she says. “We don’t give advice; we listen.”​

Doug Prentiss

Waltham, Massachusetts

​When he was teaching his teenage daughter to drive, former traffic engineer Prentiss had an epiphany: Learning safety behind the wheel is a rite of passage for teens, but older adults may not have the latest information on navigating the roads. Prentiss realized that his 93-year-old father — still driving at the time — hadn’t had any road safety education since he began driving.

So in 2014, Prentiss became an instructor with AARP’s Driver Safety program. Since then, he’s taught more than 50 courses and reached nearly 500 participants. He has worked to keep the streets safe in other ways, helping to implement the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets program throughout Massachusetts to focus on safety for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation users.

Prentiss, 74 and an AARP member, says he “lives and breathes safety.” His work with older drivers ensures they are “current with all the changes on the road.” ​

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