AARP announces 2023 Purpose Prize recipients

Five people who put their knowledge and life experiences to work solving challenging social problems were honored with a Purpose Prize by the American Association of Retired People (AARP).

Each recipient will receive $50,000 for use by their non-profit organizations during a ceremony Oct. 25. Another 10 “Fellows” will receive $10,000 financial awards.

According to an AARP press release, the Purpose Prize recipients include:

  • Zerqa Abid, of Columbus, Ohio — The founder and executive director of MY Project USA, which protects youth from drugs, gangs and human trafficking by empowering them through sports, social services and civic engagement.
  • Jamesetta Ferguson, from Louisville, Ky. — The president and CEO of Molo Village CDC, a grassroots organization committed to addressing complex issues in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville.
  • Sharron Rush, of Austin, Texas — The executive director and cofounder of Knowbility, a nonprofit advocacy, consulting and training organization devoted to creating an inclusive digital world for people with disabilities.
  • Bill Toone of Escondido, Calif. — The founder of Ecolife Conservation, a group with a mission is to protect wildlife, natural resources and the people who depend on them.
  • Imani Woody of Washington, D.C., — The president and CEO of Mary’s House for Older Adults, which develops housing and inclusive environments that address affordability and access.

The list of honored Fellows can be found at the AARP website.

Photo, from left: Bill Toone, Imani Woody, Zerqa Abid, Jamesetta Ferguson and Sharron Rush. Photos taken by, from left: Phillip Cheung, Jared Soares, Kevin Miyasaki, Diana King and Arturo Olmos.