Education & Training

Robert  Crowell  and Barbara Crowell Roy , Eve’s Fund for Native American Health Initiatives
Founder / President
Eve’s Fund for Native American Health Initiatives
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

In 2005, Robert Crowell and Barbara Crowell Roy’s lives changed forever. Their daughter, a 30-year old successful corporate attorney, Eve Crowell, accidentally died from a drug and alcohol overdose. Robert was months away from retiring from his long neurosurgery career; Barbara was teaching English as a second language in Switzerland.

After Eve’s sudden death, they channeled their grief into action.

John Corcoran , John Corcoran Foundation
John Corcoran Foundation
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

In the early 1990s, John Corcoran’s 4-year-old granddaughter began asking him to read books with her. But he couldn’t read. He was one of the 93 million Americans whose reading skills are below the basic level. In his 17 years teaching high school, he had fooled everyone. But he couldn’t fool her.

William J. Burwinkel ,  Adopt A Class Foundation
Founder and Executive Director
Adopt A Class Foundation
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

Successful entrepreneur William J. Burwinkel started a company in his basement that grew into National Marketshare Group, a major consumer sales and marketing company based in Cincinnati. But that wasn’t enough. In 2003, he decided it was time to give something back. He and his employees began a tutoring program at a local public school.

Ten years later, that small program is now the Adopt A Class Foundation, with programs at 28 of Greater Cincinnati’s neediest public and parochial schools. Over 300 business and community group mentors have worked with 7,500 children.

Fredrick J.  Bramante , National Center for Competency-Based Learning
Founder and President
National Center for Competency-Based Learning
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

A quarter of American high school students drop out before graduation. What if the problem isn’t teachers or schools, but how we measure learning itself—as “seat time” spent in a class?

Fred Bramante thinks it is. “School taught me that I wasn’t very bright,” Bramante says. “Life taught me that school was wrong.”

Despite his academic struggles, in 1972 Bramante opened the first Daddy’s Junky Music in New Hampshire, which grew from a hole-in-the-wall shop opened with his $600 life savings into a $35,000,000 music retail business. He also spent six years a science teacher.

Michael Berkeley , Mexico Medical Missions
Mexico Medical Missions
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

For decades, Michael Berkeley had a fulfilling career as an orthopedic surgeon for celebrities in Aspen, CO. By the late 1980s, he wanted a higher purpose. “I didn’t want my tombstone to say, ‘He fixed a lot of knees,’” he says.

He found an encore career in Chihuahua, Mexico, where through the 1990s he volunteered at a Christian hospital treating Tarahumara Indians, who suffer one of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. Half of all children die before age 5.

David S.  Bazerman , Legal Aid Service of Broward County
Director, Tracey McPharlin Dependency Pro Bono Project
Legal Aid Service of Broward County
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

When 11-year-old Nubia Barahona was murdered by her adopted father in South Florida, her body found in a plastic bag, it shocked David Bazerman’s conscience. For years he’d worked to defend the rights of abused, neglected and abandoned children, and knew how the state’s legal system often neglected those children, too. “Had Nubia been represented by an attorney who would have pursued obvious concerns about the adoptive parents’ fitness,” he says, “she might be alive today.”

Ed Nicholson , Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.
Founder and President
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.
Purpose Prize Winner 2013

Every Wednesday afternoon since 2005, through the muggy Washington summers, wounded soldiers cast fly fishing lines over the green grass in front of the Walter Reed National Medical Center. Trying to catch lawn trout may seem quixotic, but practicing the rhythmic casting motion is a therapeutic variation on military drills.

Who Won the Encore Career Handbook Story Contest?

There's so much talk about how people over 50 are having the toughest time rebounding from the recession that we at wanted to uncover the stories of those who have overcome obstacles and those who are using their encore careers to help others hard hit.

Recently I asked for your stories, and you shared your many passions, journeys and triumphs. We were honored to read them. We picked five favorites to share.

Diane Accurso , Beaumont Health System
Registered Nurse
Beaumont Health System

Editor's note: This is Diane Accurso's story in her own words.

I spent my first career as a project manager, primarily in the IT world. I worked for General Motors and periodically they would open a retirement window for eligible employees. Essentially, if you met the criteria you were generally able to retire from the company and begin receiving a pension. For me, that made the time right to try something different after 32 years at GM.

Elaine Chavez , New Jerusalem Elementary School District
New Jerusalem Elementary School District

Editor's note: This is Elaine Chavez's story in her own words.

I'd like to share how I have weathered the storm of a change in my career, and the downturn of the economy.

I had surgery on my foot 2011 – a full reconstruction of my arch and replacement of tendons. At the time, I was a pre-K teacher at a private school. But after my surgery I was laid off, basically because I could not stand on my foot too long and perform my regular duties. I continued my education, completing my bachelor’s degree in education in December 2012.

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