“I hope to inspire older Americans to consider the many ways that they can live lives of meaning and purpose during their encore careers by sharing the stories of elders living in our intergenerational Treehouse Communities where families adopting children from foster care live next door to elders (ages 55+) who share their talents, wisdom and time with neighbors of all ages. I also hope to be an example for my peers!”

Judy Cockerton

Judy Cockerton is not your average social entrepreneur. She has inspired the launch of the Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Movement and has personally established three non-profit organizations to enhance the lives of our nation’s children and youth experiencing foster care: Treehouse Foundation, Sibling Connections and Birdsong Farm. A nationally recognized foster care innovator, Cockerton is known for her ability to bring together a vast array of partners, leveraging people, dollar and idea resources in compelling new ways to benefit America’s most vulnerable youth. Cockerton’s award winning intergenerational Treehouse Community model – where families adopting children from foster care live next door to elders 55+ who volunteer their time and talents with the next generation – is currently being replicated in California and Massachusetts. Cockerton has won numerous awards honoring her collaborative social change approach, including Congressional Angel in Adoption, the Purpose Prize, and an Adoption Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for Systems Change. Cockerton lives in Massachusetts and is a parent by birth and by adoption.


Learn more here about the Encore Public Voices Fellowship, which supports diverse voices focusing on aging, longevity and the intergenerational opportunity. 

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