Lester Strong is Principal Gifts Officer at the AARP Foundation. He previously as CEO of AARP Experience Corps, which tutors and mentors elementary school children (through third grade) who struggle with reading by utilizing the skills and experiences of adults 55-plus. AARP Experience Corps serves more than 20,000 students in 22 cities across the United States through a program recognized as the one of the most effective in-school interventions in the country.
Strong has served as a leader in educational entrepreneurship and development. He was the Chief Development Officer for the BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) Foundation, which provides tutoring and mentoring services to underserved children. Strong’s efforts doubled the foundation’s endowment and propelled expansion from three to five cities: Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York and Springfield, Mass.
A longtime proponent and practitioner of meditation, Lester was also CEO of the SYDA Foundation, an organization that provides instruction in yoga and meditation in 46 countries. Strong spent 25 years in the television industry as an executive, producer, reporter and anchor in Charlotte (WBTV), Atlanta (WSB), New York (ABC Entertainment) and Boston (WHDH). His work earned him a host of national and regional awards, including five regional Emmy Awards and a White House commendation from President Ronald Reagan.