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Connie Siskowski wins Purpose Prize


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Caregiving Youth hugging Mother

Connie Siskowski, Among 10 Social Innovators in Encore Careers to Win 2009 Purpose Prize

Boca Raton, FL — Connie Siskowski has been awarded a 2009 Purpose Prize, which honors social entrepreneurs over 60 who are using their experience and passion to take on society’s biggest challenges. Now in its fourth year, the six-year, $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life.

Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD, the Founder & President of the Boca Raton-based Volunteers for the Homebound and Family Caregivers will receive $50,000 for the innovative Caregiving Youth Project. Siskowski cared for her grandfather as a pre-teen, so she knew that caring for aging relatives is stressful and far from a normal childhood. Her organization, in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County facilitates support groups in middle schools, offers classes on life skills, and provides other valuable resources for youth caregivers and their families.

Siskowski will join nine other 2009 winners and 46 Purpose Prize fellows at a Summit on Innovation on Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’ Center on Social Innovation, one of the world’s leading academic centers focused on social entrepreneurship.

The winners and 1,000-plus nominees in 2009 underscore a trend in entrepreneurialism later in life. According to studies by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the 55-64 age group is the most active in creating new ventures. Counter to stereotype, people ages 20-34, the study found, are the least entrepreneurial.

“More than ever, the problems facing our communities, country and world call out for creative solutions,” said Marc Freedman, co-founder of The Purpose Prize and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life. “Fortunately, we don’t run out of ideas as we age.

“Like so many others in this new stage of life between the end of midlife careers and the beginning of true old age, The Purpose Prize winners combine creativity, experience and passion with a desire to do something bigger than themselves,” Freeman continued.

The Encore Careers campaign is run by Civic Ventures, a national think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. Funding for The Purpose Prize comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation.


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