Education & Training

Richard Joyner , Conetoe Family Life Center
Conetoe Family Life Center
Purpose Prize Winner 2014

In 2005, the Rev. Richard Joyner had a realization. He had presided over too many funerals at a church of just 300 members. In one year alone, 30 congregants under the age of 32 years had died.

“We had at least 20 funerals per year, and a lot of the deaths were health-related — poor diets, no exercise,” says Joyner, now 62, pastor of the Conetoe Baptist Church in rural North Carolina. “It just started to feel unconscionable that you would see someone 100 pounds overweight on Sunday and not say anything about it. Then they’d die of a heart attack.”

Pamela  Cantor, M.D. , Turnaround for Children, Inc.
Founder, President and CEO
Turnaround for Children, Inc.
Purpose Prize Winner 2014

A few weeks after September 11, 2001, Pamela Cantor, then 53, received a call from the New York City Board of Education asking her to lead a team to assess the emotional impact of the attacks on the city’s public school children. As a child psychiatrist specializing in trauma for nearly two decades, she welcomed the opportunity.

Charles Irvin Fletcher , SpiritHorse International
Founder and CEO
SpiritHorse International
Purpose Prize Winner 2014

Two tumultuous decades in the telecommunications industry took a toll on Charles Fletcher’s income and his spirit. When he retired in the 1990s at the age of 58, he found some peace of mind through volunteering at a Dallas-area equine therapy center for children with disabilities. The special connection he witnessed between the children and horses was both restorative and intimately familiar, as he had been around horses since he was five. But Fletcher thought the program was falling short. It could do more than offer feel-good pony rides. It had the potential to heal.

Gary Hollander , Diverse and Resilient, Inc.
Founder and President
Diverse and Resilient, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

In 2001, I found myself near the top of the mountain that was the vertically integrated health care system for which I worked. I was successful, well-compensated, respected and influential.

So why was I only really happy for a couple of hours a week?

Maxine Hong  Kingston , The Veteran Writers Group
The Veteran Writers Group
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

I am Maxine Hong Kingston, 73 years of age. I began taking war personally as a child during World War II. My mother was a refugee from China, where she was a medic during the bombing of Canton. Years later, two of my brothers were in the Vietnam War, and one of them returned with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Over time, I became a professor at U.C. Berkeley and authored nine books, including The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Amongst Ghosts, but the problem of war stayed with me. I wanted peace for my loved ones, and for the world.

Stella Aguirre McGregor , Urbano Project
Founder, Executive Director and Artistic Director
Urbano Project
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

For more than 30 years, I have been an artist, cultural worker and arts educator in Boston. I believe art is an essential part of life — and a catalyst for social change.

In the ’80s, I started an artist-run space for contemporary art that drew kids away from drug-dealing and into the arts. Later, I consulted for the City of Boston’s Big Dig’s Artery Arts program and worked for the state cultural council.

Josephine  Mercado , Hispanic Health Initiatives
Founder and CEO
Hispanic Health Initiatives
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

Before I retired to central Florida in 1999, I was an attorney in New York City for 17 years. There, I founded two health and education initiatives: Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert and First Saturday In October, which focused on breast health education and awareness among New York City Latinas.

Cecilia  Nadal , Global Education through the Arts Program
Global Education through the Arts Program
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

I’ve spent my life building cross-cultural bridges in St. Louis. For 23 years, I was president of an employment firm that specialized in training employers and low-income job seekers how to transcend class divisions. Since 1996, I have also run Gitana, a not-for-profit organization that sponsors international music, dance and drama performances. In 2007, just as I sold my employment company, I gave a talk that made me realize I could focus my experience in a new way.

Douglas E. Noll , Prison of Peace
Prison of Peace
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

My life really began after 50. I was a hard-core trial lawyer for 22 years. Through a gradual inner awakening, I realized that my calling was not in the courtroom. As a result, in 2000, exactly two weeks after my 50th birthday, I left a successful trial practice in a major law firm to become a peacemaker.

In 2009, my colleague Laurel Kaufer received a request from an inmate in the most dangerous women’s prison in the world. She immediately called me, read the letter aloud and asked what I thought. Without hesitation, I said, “If this is for real, we should do it.”

Ann Ogden , Cook for Your Life
Founder and President
Cook for Your Life
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

I was an artist who became a designer, which morphed into a career in fashion. I lived in Paris for 12 years and then worked in New York as a high-end design consultant for industry giants like Calvin Klein, Saks and Barneys.

My career allowed me to indulge in two personal passions: travel and food. I first traveled abroad at age 8 and began cooking at 12, learning Italian specialties from my Mom and sturdy British classics from my Dad.

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