What if someone told you how you could pursue your greatest passion in the last third of your life? And on top of that, you might get national recognition for your efforts. The Purpose Prize, created by Civic Ventures, annually recognizes 10 adults ages 60 and older for their extraordinary encore careers in which they are creating new ways to solve tough social problems.

You can meet people who embarked on their own life-changing experiences at “Living with Purpose,” a panel presentation hosted by Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC), Friday, March 2, at the Suzanne Patterson Center. The free event will feature three Purpose Prize honorees who will share their insight, speak about their projects, how they got started, and how to discover ways to pursue your own passions.

Says Dick Goldberg, national director of Coming of Age, who will moderate the panel: “The stories of these Purpose Prize winners are so inspiring for whatever next steps one is contemplating for the next phase of life.”

According to Susan Hoskins, executive director of PSRC, the event is a follow-up to last year’s appearance by Mark Freeman, executive director of Civic Ventures, who introduced Encore Careers to Princeton and spoke about his book “The Big Shift.”

Honoree Dana Freyer was named a fellow in 2009. She founded the Global Partnership for Afghanistan in 2002 after a career as an attorney. The program enables more than 10,000 Afghan farmers to restore orchards, woodlots, and vineyards and develop enterprises that help alleviate poverty, renew the environment, and provide alternatives to poppy production.

Barry Zuckerman, a physician, was honored in 2008 for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership in Boston, which brings lawyers into health clinics to improve the health of low-income children. This was a new model for addressing the preventable problems that impair children’s access to food, safety, education, housing, and other resources essential to their health.

Mindy Thompson-Fullilove, a native of Orange, was recognized in 2011 for establishing the University of Orange. She left her African American working-class neighborhood to pursue a career as a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute and teach at Columbia University. In 2007 she returned to find a city of recent immigrants that struggled with many urban issues. She created the University of Orange, a free school for city residents that promotes civic engagement, citizen participation, and activism.

The panel presentation will be followed by discussion with the audience and a light lunch sponsored by Springpoint Foundation. Program partners — PSRC’s Next Step Program, Princeton Alumni Corps, and Volunteer Connect — will share opportunities for participants to pursue their own interests and get involved.

“We are so excited about hosting these fascinating individuals who have made their visions a reality,” says Hoskins. “There are so many people in our own communities who have done amazing things who would be great mentors. We want to put all of this energy together to inspire others to follow their example; to engage in making their communities and the world a better place.”

“Living with Purpose: How to Make a Real Difference in Your Encore Years,” Princeton Senior Resource Center, Friday, March 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Suzanne Patterson Center, Princeton. A panel presentation with three Purpose Prize honorees sharing their insights about embarking on an “encore” career. Register online at princetonsenior.org or call 609-924-7108.

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