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2014 Purpose Prize Winners



What is the Purpose Prize?

The Purpose Prize, now in its ninth year, is the nation’s pre-eminent large-scale investment in people over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The Prize awards at least $100,000 annually to individuals creating new ways to solve tough social problems. The 2014 Purpose Prize awarded $300,000 to six individuals.

The Prize was created in 2005 by Encore.org, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies, to showcase the value of experience and disprove outdated notions that innovation is the sole province of the young. It’s for those with the drive to make change and the experience to know how to do it.

Since its inception The Purpose Prize has garnered nearly 10,000 nominations, honored more than 465 winners and fellows, attracted millions of dollars in new resources for winners to expand their projects and merited hundreds of news stories in The Wall Street Journal, Time, NPR and other outlets.

Meet the Grantees:

Pamela Cantor, M.D.

Turnaround for Children, Inc.

Child psychiatrist Dr. Pamela Cantor leads an organization that helps schools counter the effects of poverty on student learning, reaching tens of thousands of teachers and children in low-performing public schools. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Impact, sponsored by The Eisner Foundation)   

Charles Fletcher

SpiritHorse International

Fletcher used his ranch to launch a global network of 91 therapeutic riding centers serving 5,000 children with disabilities – free of charge. ($100,000 Purpose Prize)   

Mauricio Lim Miller

Family Independence Initiative

Miller’s unorthodox approach to ending poverty has helped hundreds of families double their savings and increase their income. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation)   

Kate Williams

Employment Immersion Program, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Recruiter Williams despaired of losing her career and her independence as her sight faded to near-blindness; she now uses the adaptive technology that kept her in the workforce to help the blind find jobs. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)   

Rev. Richard Joyner

Conetoe Family Life Center

Rev. Joyner’s thriving, 25-acre garden and family center is steadily improving the health of his rural congregation, boosting students’ high-school graduation rates and economic potential – and providing a model for more than 20 church communities. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)   

David N. Campbell

All Hands Volunteers

Campbell used his management savvy to build a nimble, effective nonprofit that has dispatched 28,000 volunteers to 45 global disaster zones. ($100,000 Purpose Prize for Future Promise, sponsored by Symetra)