Why Civil Rights Vets Keep Pressing On

The first in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The civil rights struggles of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s were largely led by youth and college students, many who were members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or the NAACP Student Council. Now in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, some view their civil rights mission as a life’s work with no retirement in the plan. “I still have an interest in my people, …

Talents Can Transform Your Life and the World

In the movie A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro plays a father who declares that wasted talent is “the saddest thing in life.” Those words ring true for me on a lot of levels. As an economist I view older Americans as an undervalued asset, too often denied the chance to use talents honed over a lifetime. As a policy wonk and advocate, I look for strategies that can help people live rewarding lives and that remove obstacles in their …

Strengthening Community, One Individual at a Time

When it comes to strengthening community, we talk a lot about the role of institutions:  government, business and nonprofits.  But an underreported and underappreciated story is the role of the individual – you and me.  There are so many engaged and active people across the country who are creating significant and lasting change in their cities and communities.  And I have a wonderful example in longtime AARP volunteer Margot Seay. A resident of Kingsport, Tenn., Margot saw a need for …

AARP Experience Corps: Working with Kids Yields Rewards

Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Win with Experience Corps In 2007, a Washington University research study confirmed what volunteers have been consistently saying all along.  AARP Experience Corps volunteers become more active and energetic as they participate in the program. From the study: “At the end of the academic year, about two-thirds of the low-activity group was classified as high-activity, as they became more active in [non-Experience Corps] activities. ” Experience Corps members become more active through their work …

Experience Corps Chicago Driven by Passionate Latino Leaders

AARP Experience Corps Chicago aims to improve child literacy rates among young Chicago Latinos. As the office gears to open in March, Myrna Torres takes her position as Experience Corps Chicago’s new Branch Director. Tomas Revollo, a retired principal and educational thought leader, volunteers his time and expertise to connect Experience Corps with current Chicago Public School principals. Both have a deep interest in serving the Latino community, and that interest is invaluable in completing EC’s mission.    If you …

Horse Sense Volunteering

Fran Burns of Baltimore County, Maryland, grew up on a horse farm, riding and showing horses. She recalls that the only time in her life when she wasn’t around horses was during college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied broadcast journalism. After many years of working in the world of radio, and later, dental sales, Fran retired in 2006 to her horse farm in northern Maryland where she started volunteering with organizations that were …