Excitement was in the air, as the five finalists for The Encore Prize, selected in September from a pool of 15 semifinalists,  gave their three-minute pitches to a live audience of 125 people in Boston on October 16. (You can watch below or read our blog here.)

Each presented a great new idea for tapping encore talent to improve the lives of young people who need champions. Each brought passion and polish. Each was determined to win one of two $50,000 prizes that most certainly will change lives.

With help from 12,000 voters, 17 judges, dozens of reviewers, the finalists themselves (who rated each other’s performance), and all those in the room yesterday, we finally have our winners.

The $50,000 Judges’ Prize, was awarded to Critical Bridge/Office of Mayor Sam Licardo (San Jose, CA).

The $50,000 People’s Choice Prize, based on votes of the other finalists and the audience at the convening, was awarded to Hire Autism/Organization for Autism Research (Arlington, VA).

The other three finalists, awarded prizes of $5,000, were:


Judges and Judging Criteria

The Judges’ Prize was awarded by our distinguished panel of judges — including Soledad O’Brien, broadcast journalist and co-founder of the PowHERful Foundation; Chip Conley, author and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality; Obie Mckensie, managing director at Blackrock; and Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s.The winner was selected based on the following criteria:

  • Encore Fit – venture utilizes encore talent in well-designed roles that have potential to be used widely to address the social problem.  Venture demonstrates the potential and desire to become leaders of the encore movement, demonstrating the power of encore talent.
  • Innovation – venture consists of a new approach or a critical improvement to an existing model.
  • Organizational/applicant strength – organization/applicant demonstrates ability to carry out project successfully.  Good track record or clear support from other organizations/partners.  Understands team assets and gaps.
  • Scalability/Replicability – venture has capacity to grow to produce significant social change.
  • Financial Model – venture has a clear plan for financial sustainability utilizing diverse and repeatable streams of revenue such as earned income, and public and private funding.
  • Diversity – ability to engage people and organizations representing diverse communities, particularly those in which children and youth are at particularly high risk, for example high levels of gun violence or families being separated due to immigration status.

Applications for the 2017 Encore Prize are now closed

For more details on the prize process and what will be required of applicants for future challenges, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

For more on the Generation to Generation campaign, go to iamgen2gen.org. To be notified about this year’s finalists or about future cycles of The Encore Prize, or to receive news from Encore.org and the Generation to Generation campaign, complete the form below.