Purpose Prize

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The Latest from CoGenerate

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

Our first group of CoGen Challenge awardees are bringing older and younger people together  to boost the economic prospects of substitute teachers, artists with disabilities, people without homes, girls facing hardship in Appalachia, and so much more.   To learn more...

‘I Want These Girls to Know They Have Limitless Possibilities’

‘I Want These Girls to Know They Have Limitless Possibilities’

Gwen Johnson is the founder of Mamaw Mentorship in Eastern Kentucky and one of 10 awardees of the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity. Watch for interviews with all 10 of these innovators bringing older and younger people together to open doors to economic...

Need a Guide To Spark Productive, Intergenerational Conversations?

Need a Guide To Spark Productive, Intergenerational Conversations?

In March, we released our latest report, What Young Leaders Want — And Don’t Want — From Older Allies, summarizing what 31 Gen Z and Millennial leaders had to say about working with older people to solve pressing problems — aka “cogeneration” — and how it can be...

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Maria Lemus

Visión y Compromiso
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Lemus is helping to transform the role of “promotores” — traditionally, laypeople in Latin American countries concerned with the health and well-being of others — into a widely accepted profession in the United States sensitive to cultural differences.

Lemus is helping to transform the role of “promotores” — traditionally, laypeople in Latin American countries concerned with the health and well-being of others — into a widely accepted profession in the United States sensitive to cultural differences.The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Lemus understood the importance of “promotores de salud” – “promoters of health.” Lemus, 60, says people often ask her to characterize “promotores.” “I ask them to think of someone in their family, someone who was always helping others. They would check in on others, take food to shut-ins or sick neighbors, give rides, or help with local information. They would do it gladly without compensation.” Lemus met professional “promotores” in 1998 at a California HIV/AIDS Latino conference. The “promotore” continuum includes diverse titles and roles within health and human service agencies: community health worker, peer educator, health advocate, outreach worker, and others. Lemus was surprised to find there were many organizations across the state involved in such work, serving U.S. Hispanic communities – typically in Spanish. In essence, they were professionalizing the mission of “promotores” to educate Hispanics about various health-related topics, including immunization and disease prevention. Using her professional background in program development for health-focused organizations, in 2000 Lemus founded Visión y Compromiso (“vision and commitment”) as a resource and advocacy organization for “promotores” in California. The organization has built a network of 400 community experts in 10 regions across the state. Lemus hopes to create an institute recognizing “promotores” nationally.