Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

As colleagues from different generations (x/millennial), we’ve been leading talks and workshops sharing our insights about working across generations – what we call “cogeneration.” As we plan, we’re usually texting furiously, sharing ideas and reflections. So we...

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

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Dewey Houck

Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Improving and preserving the community by a force of committed volunteers

Dewey Houck, 71, grew up in Mullens, West Virginia, in a small Appalachian village set between two coal camps. He left after high school but returned after an early retirement, intent on working as a full-time volunteer to help his hometown reverse high rates of poverty and unemployment caused by the decline in the coal industry. In 2001, shortly after Mullens was hit by the worst flood in its history, Houck founded The Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc. (RAIL). Initially RAIL worked to revive the waterlogged town, but soon expanded its focus to include the development of sustainable solutions to improve education, economic conditions, environmental quality, housing, and cultural and historical preservation. Under Houck’s leadership, RAIL has created literacy, arts and fitness programs and established a community center. New priorities include attracting industry to abandoned mine land, cleaning up local streams, helping with local home repairs, and boosting services to children and schools. The League accomplishes all of its work through the efforts of volunteers, including AmeriCorps and VISTA members.