Children & Youth

An Accidental Encore

College Park Elementary in San Mateo, Calif., had a great computer lab but no one to run it. Gifford Calenda, whose son attends the school, had years of experience developing software at Apple, and – in retirement – he had free time.

Perfect conditions for an encore career.


Sound Beginnings Toward an Encore

By J. Gaston Kent Jr.

Twenty-four years ago, I lost all hearing in my right ear from an infection. I now wear a bone-anchored hearing aid, or BAHA, that carries sound through bone in my skull to my functioning ear.

Nearing my retirement after 35 years in management at Northrop Grumman Corp., I joined the board of a highly respected center for deaf children in Los Angeles called John Tracy Clinic. I was happy to help in any way I might be of service.


7 Reasons Volunteering Can Lead to a Job

By Julie Shifman

Some people start volunteering because they’re passionate about a cause. Michael Burke, a Baltimore chef, began volunteering because he got rheumatoid arthritis. That decision paved the way to his current paid job.


Purpose Prize Winner Lends Expertise to New York Times and NPR

Purpose Prize winner Arlene Blum, whose research and advocacy led to a ban on a toxic fire retardant in children's sleepwear, has recently lent her expertise to two major media outlets.


Having Patience When Considering an Encore

By Maggie Jackson

In a new world of elongated lives and career fluidity, we need to have patience – with ourselves.

That was perhaps the most poignant and startling point articulated by a panel on “Second Careers, Doing Good” held recently at my Yale college reunion. I put together the event to explore the trepidation and the liberation that we all seem to feel about the gift of a longer life.

Like other boomers, we are eagerly planning or pursuing new careers, which often involve social impact. But reshaping our lives doesn’t occur with push-button speed or ease.


Purpose Prize Winner Championing Children Named CNN Hero

The cable news channel CNN recently named Purpose Prize winner Connie Siskowski one of its 2012 CNN Heroes – "everyday people changing the world."

CNN selected Siskowski for her compassionate and innovative work in helping youths care for aging, disabled or ill family members.


Wanjiru Kamau will never forget the shock of arriving in Oregon from Kenya, moving as a 20-year-old student to a foreign land. "Leaving my family and my country, coming to a place where I knew no one, that was the most difficult but also the most exciting thing I've done in my life," says Kamau, now 70. To help other African immigrants going through the same difficult transition, Kamau started the nonprofit African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation. In 2011, she won The Purpose Prize.

Purpose Prize winner Connie Siskowski is helping young people who have to take care of ill, disabled or aging family members. Since 2006, her nonprofit has provided assistance to more than 500 young caregivers in Palm Beach County, Fla. For her innovative and compassionate work, CNN named her a 2012 CNN Hero.

A social worker for over four decades, Hubert Jones has dedicated his life to the people of Boston. The Boston's Children's Chorus is a dynamic group of young people from the suburbs and the inner city, singing together at a high level. In 2010, Jones won the Purpose Prize for his inspiring work.

Six years ago Mark Goldsmith, winner of the 2008 Purpose Prize, founded Getting Out and Staying Out, a nonprofit program working to keep New York City’s young men out of prison for good. Recidivism rates – the proportion of people who return to prison within three years of their release – hover above 60 percent nationally. In New York City the rate is about half that.

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