Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Documentary Brings the Beauty of Cogeneration to PBS

Documentary Brings the Beauty of Cogeneration to PBS

A new documentary film, Ink & Linda, chronicles the unexpected friendship between Inksap, a Vietnamese-American street artist in his 20s, and Linda, a white modern dance teacher in her 70s. Shortly after a chance encounter brings these two together, they begin...

Announcing the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity

Announcing the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity

We’re out to show the world that older and younger people can help solve pressing problems when they work together. To that end, today we’re launching the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity, a partnership with the Ares Charitable Foundation to elevate...


Charlotte Holstein

FOCUS Greater Syracuse
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Tapping community creativity to impact change

Charlotte (Chuckie) Holstein, 80, created the nonprofit F.O.C.U.S. (Forging Our Community’s United Strength) in 1998 to engage local citizens and organizations to address the major economic, social, and environmental issues facing the Syracuse, NY region. With the vision and input of thousands of people, 87 goals were initiated, all germane to building a sustainable community. To meet the challenges facing the area, citizens prepared strategic plans of action to: 1) improve the water quality of a significantly polluted lake, 2) revitalize an economically depressed downtown area; 3) promote community preparedness for the impact on municipalities resulting from the large numbers of retiring baby boomers; and 4) create a free, 10-week “Citizens’ Academy” to encourage civic engagement and an understanding of how government works. Since then, the plans have begun to be implemented, improvements are underway, and civic engagement has significantly increased as a result. Through its work and its partnerships across the community, F.O.C.U.S. enables citizens to become increasingly involved in improving the quality of life and economic future of the area.