As director of The Purpose Prize at, it is a great privilege to announce the six 2015 winners of The Purpose Prize, and to share with you early coverage from The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Reuters-Global Post, AARP, Next Avenue/ and the Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune.

In my 15 years at the forefront of the encore movement, I have been deeply shaped by the people around me who are making the most significant contributions of their lives after 50 (read more in my blog post here). I know the stories of these six remarkable trailblazers will inspire and move you, too.

  • Journalist Laurie Ahern, 61, became an advocate for children with disabilities held in abusive institutions, fighting torture, training activists and changing lives in 36 countries. ($100,000 Purpose Prize)
  • Micro-lending champion Patricia Foley Hinnen, 62, capitalizes on equality and economic justice through bonds that have funded 11,000 microloans in the fight against the “feminization of poverty.” ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation)
  • Former Black Panther Jamal Joseph, 62, has created a refuge where thousands of young people escape the violence in their lives, learn leadership skills and create art for social change. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)
  • Samuel Lupin, 77, has modernized the tradition of house calls, with two generations’ support, bringing much-needed health care to 4,000 homebound elderly patients. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Collaboration, sponsored by The Eisner Foundation)
  • Far beyond the pulpit, teacher-turned-Episcopal-priest Belle Mickelson, 67, helps young and old fiddle in harmony, building connections in 29 remote Alaskan villages. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Impact, sponsored by The Eisner Foundation)
  • Former New York State Judge Laura Safer Espinoza, 62, moved from the courtroom to Florida’s growing fields bringing human rights and economic justice to over 30,000 farmworkers. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)

Read the full press release here and watch our winner videos here.

For more inspiring stories, read about our new cohort of 41 Purpose Prize fellows here.


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