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Meet the 2013 Purpose Prize Winners

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By Marc Freedman

It’s a great honor to unveil the stories of our seven inspirational Purpose Prize winners for 2013. These individuals come from all walks of life, but hold one thing in common: each is changing the world in what was once seen as the ‘leftover’ years.

Through this important work they are simultaneously transforming perceptions about what is possible when the power of social innovation is joined with the unique value of experience.

These winners are at the vanguard of a large and growing movement of individuals in their encore years helping to solve many of the toughest problems facing our nation and the world today.

This year’s winners:

Ysabel Duron

Founder and CEO, Latinas Contra Cancer

When journalist and cancer survivor Ysabel Duron turned the camera on herself, she launched an encore career that shines a spotlight on cancer for Latino communities across the United States.

> More about Ysabel Duron

Vicki Thomas

Director of Communications, Purple Heart Homes

When former PR executive Vicki Thomas cold-called two disabled veterans to say she’d fight for them, she launched an encore career that adapts foreclosed homes for wounded soldiers, healing both individuals and communities in the process.

> More about Vicki Thomas

Carol Fennelly

Founder and Executive Director, Hope House

When impassioned advocate Carol Fennelly realized prison transfers were breaking up families, she launched an encore career that transforms federal prisoners into involved parents.

> More about Carol Fennelly

Elizabeth Huttinger

Principal Investigator, Projet Crevette

When international public health expert Elizabeth Huttinger spotted the big idea in a little shrimp, she launched an encore career that could eradicate a disease infecting millions of the world’s poorest.

> More about Elizabeth Huttinger

Violet Little

Pastor and Developer, The Welcome Church

When Reverend Violet Little answered a higher call to serve Philadelphia’s homeless, she launched an encore career that is redefining just what a “church” is.

> More about Violet Little

Ed Nicholson

Founder and President, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.

When military man Ed Nicholson saw disabled young veterans struggling to remake their lives, he launched an encore career that is healing soldiers through the power of relationships and the great outdoors.

> More about Ed Nicholson

Barbara Young

National Organizer, National Domestic Workers Alliance

When Barbara Young courageously transformed herself from immigrant nanny into passionate advocate, she launched an encore career with the power to change the lives of domestic workers across the United States.

> More about Barbara Young

Learn More

Read their stories, and learn also about the 43 new Purpose Prize fellows – finalists for The Prize – at

Get ready to be inspired!

> Visit the Purpose Prize website

> “Like” the Purpose Prize on Facebook

> Follow on Twitter at @encorecareers

Media Coverage

> Purpose Prize Winners: Changing the World After 60, Forbes, 11 November 2013

> 7 Social Innovators Over 60 Win Purpose Prizes, Chronicle of Philanthropy, 11 November 2013

> Column: US Woman Finds Encore Career Providing Homes to Disabled Vets, Reuters, 11 November 2013

> ‘Genius’ Awards For Retirees, The Wall Street Journal, 11 November 2013 (formerly Civic Ventures) is an Atlantic grantee. The National Domestic Worker Alliance is an Atlantic grantee via Mujeres Unidas y Activas.

Related Resources



Global Impact:

United States


Civic Ventures, Purpose Prize