Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

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These 10 Innovators Use Cogeneration to Advance Economic Opportunity

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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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Terry Dickinson

Virginia Dental Association/Missions of Mercy
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008

Providing free dental care to the underinsured, uninsured and the working poor.

In 1996, Terry Dickinson decided he needed to leave his successful private dental clinic because staying “would not fill my soul for the rest of my life.” In 1999, he was offered the opportunity to run the Virginia Dental Association. He accepted the job, and was immediately struck by the appalling condition of dental care in rural and impoverished Virginia communities. In 2000, at age 58, Dickinson launched the Missions of Mercy (MOM) Project under the auspices of the Virginia Dental Association Foundation, the first mobile oral health care outreach program of its kind in the state. Volunteer dentists and advanced dental students create a “service site” for two to six days in under-served areas, treating the working poor, elderly, disabled and uninsured residents. Since July of 2000, MOM has provided 28,423 Virginia MOM patients more than $13.2 million worth of free dental care. Ten other states have copied the model, serving more than 67,000 patients with $27 million in free care, and two more states plan new programs in 2009. “I am often asked about how much money I have ‘lost’ by taking this job. My answer is – and always will be – ‘It isn’t what I lost by leaving, but rather what I would have lost if I had stayed.'”