Judith Broder , The Soldiers Project
The Soldiers Project
Purpose Prize Winner 2009

As Judith Broder watched a play documenting the mental anguish some veterans experience after coming come from war, something clicked. As a psychiatrist, she knew that without help some soldiers would never get past what they had seen and done. She also understood that a veteran's distress can painfully affect loved ones. Taking action, Broder created an organization that supports free, confidential, unlimited therapy to service members and their families.

Meet Judith Broder

In a dark theater, Judith Broder experienced the darkest of emotions.

Meet the 2013 Purpose Prize Winners

It's a great honor to unveil the stories of our seven inspirational Purpose Prize winners for 2013. These individuals come from all walks of life, but hold one thing in common: each is changing the world in what was once seen as the 'leftover' years. Through this important work they are simultaneously transforming perceptions about what is possible when the power of social innovation is joined with the unique value of experience.

June  Barrett , The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center
The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and 80% are released from the hospital. What happens once they leave?

As Tennessee real estate developer June Barrett discovered in 1981 when her then 14-year-old daughter Lori suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that left her unable to walk, speak or eat, there were few rehabilitation or recovery treatments available. She met many families in the same situation.

Iray Nabatoff , Community Center of St. Bernard
Executive Director
Community Center of St. Bernard
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

For two decades, Iray Nabatoff had volunteered at The Community Kitchen in Keene, NH, which provides emergency food assistance to more than 12,000 men, women and children a year. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005—and the world watched in horror as the official disaster response fell woefully short—he felt called to help.

Patricia B. Wolff , Meds & Food for Kids in Haiti
Founder and Executive Director
Meds & Food for Kids in Haiti
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

St. Louis–area pediatrician Patricia Wolff first began volunteering on medical missions to poverty-stricken Haiti in 1988 with her two young children in tow. For 20 years she worked to alleviate sickness and hunger, which is especially brutal on Haiti’s children. “I lost count of the number of children I saw die,” she says.

Dolphus Weary , Rural Education and Leadership (R.E.A.L) Christian Foundation
Rural Education and Leadership (R.E.A.L) Christian Foundation
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

Dolphus Weary grew up in rural Simpson County, Mississippi. When he won an out-of- state basketball scholarship to college, he swore he’d never come back. But a strong
sense of calling prompted him to return to Mendenhall, Mississippi, Simpson’s county seat.

It became clear to Weary that ministries across rural Mississippi needed help to support
their social improvement ambitions, therefore in 1997 he founded the Rural Education and Leadership Christian Foundation (R.E.A.L.) to nurture, train, mentor and provide
partial funding to ministries’ programs mostly focused on young people.

Jewel Thais-Williams , The Village Health Foundation, Inc.
Founder and Executive Director
The Village Health Foundation, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

Forty years ago, Jewel Thais-Williams opened the Catch One nightclub, known as “The Catch,” the famed LGBT disco in South Los Angeles where Madonna once held a party to launch a new album. Stress took its toll, and Thais-Williams began drinking and doing drugs. Seven years later, she got sober, partly with the help of natural healing, which led the UCLA graduate to train for an encore career as an acupuncturist. She graduated at age 60 but didn’t stop there.

Joseph Sluszka , Albany Housing Coalition Inc.
Executive Director
Albany Housing Coalition Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

With 14 years of experience at the helm of a community grassroots housing organization in upstate New York, Joseph Sluszka knew the importance of having a roof over one’s head, regardless of income. He was also skilled in financial management from his years in the real estate and home repair industries.

That’s why in 2004 he began an encore career with a higher purpose: helping end veterans’ homelessness leading the Albany Housing Coalition, which provides at least 50 homeless veterans a day with emergency shelter, transitional housing, affordable rentals and permanent homes.

Narendra P. Sharma , Neighborhood Outreach Connection
Founding Chair
Neighborhood Outreach Connection
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

When he retired in 2005 after three decades in finance and economic development at the World Bank, Narendra Sharma moved to the famous resort island of Hilton Head in South Carolina. Retirement gave way to a higher purpose when he discovered pockets of entrenched poverty where few adults have jobs, half of children fail to meet school standards and crime is rampant in Hilton Head and Bluffton.

Richard Roy , Center for Earth Leadership
Center for Earth Leadership
Purpose Prize Fellow 2013

In 1993, Harvard-trained lawyer Dick Roy left behind his corner office in Portland, Oregon, to launch an encore career with his wife, Jeanne, devoted to a higher purpose: environmental sustainability.

“We were acutely aware that climate change was on the horizon and ecological degradation was accelerating,” Roy says. “We concluded that we had no choice but to dedicate our lives to saving Earth as we know it.”

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