In America, it’s not uncommon for adults in their mid 40s to 70s to embark on encore careers. It’s estimated that there will be more jobs than people to fill them by 2018 and that encore workers will become critical to the workforce. Today, Encore.org announced five winners of the 2012 Purpose Prize, which is an investment awarded to people 60 and older who are creating fresh solutions to old problems.
Bhagwati (B.P.) Agrawal, 68, brings safe drinking water to six villages in India, home to 10,000 people. He’s doing it by collecting rain.
Susan Burton, 61, a former drug addict, was in and out of jail for 20 years. Now she helps formerly incarcerated women in Los Angeles stay out of jail.
Judy Cockerton, 61, winner of this year’s Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, sponsored by AARP, creates innovative ways people can help foster kids in Massachusetts – including serving as “honorary grandparents”.
Thomas Cox, 68, a pro bono lawyer in Maine who exposed massive fraud among mortgage lenders, teaches other lawyers how to protect homeowners from unfair lending practices.
Lorraine Decker, 64, is taking her know-how as a financial planner to help low-income families in Houston earn more and to prepare teens for the financial rigors of adulthood.
Each innovator receives $100,000 for their work. They were chosen from over 800 nominees.
“Purpose Prize winners are in the midst of solving society’s steepest challenges, from foster care to foreclosure,” said Encore.org founder and CEO Marc Freedman.
Now in its seventh year, the Purpose Prize is a one of a kind award in America that invests in social entrepreneurs and problem solvers in the “second half of life”.
Nominations for the 2013 Purpose Prize will open in January.
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