Take control of your brain health as you age. Visit Staying Sharp — it's free for AARP members.
by Elizabeth Enright, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2005 issue
Inspire Awards 2005 Honorees
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
As the oldest of seven children of poor Mexican immigrants, Antonia Hernández always knew she wanted to dedicate her life to helping those less fortunate. Even before she could drive, she would walk the picket lines in support of California's farm workers.
Then she spent two decades working to protect the rights of the nation's 35 million Latinos: as president and chief counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) from 1985 to 2003, she worked to create voting districts that equitably represented Latinos, opposed the nominations of federal judges with poor civil-rights records, and successfully defeated a California state measure that would have denied health and education benefits to undocumented immigrants.
"I'm a do-gooder," acknowledges Hernández."What I truly want is for every person to have the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential." Today, as the new president and CEO of the California Community Foundation, the nation's ninth-largest community foundation, overseeing more than $650 million in assets, her role is to marry the resources of generous donors with causes such as health and education. While the focus has narrowed, the overall goal is the same: to improve the lives of poor people.
"Being able to create an opportunity for people of wealth to share their resources with those in need is wonderful," Hernández says. "We're creating a community in which we're all interdependent. It's what makes this country so great."
*The name of this award was originally the Impact Award. In 2008, the awards were renamed as the Inspire Awards.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save $65-$200 on round-trip tickets purchased online.
Members save 15% all day, every day at participating locations.
Members save 15% on in-store purchases of frozen yogurt, treats and apparel.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at