As the saying goes, “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” Recognition programs and prizes are a time-tested way to change perceptions of aging and highlight our contributions – read on to meet inspiring older adults from Kansas City and Minnesota.

Kansas City, Kansas: Longstanding encore leader the Shepherd’s Center in Kansas City, Kansas is celebrating purposeful aging with their  new 70 Over 70 Awards, recognizing people age 70 to 97 making a difference.

Selected from more than 150 nominations, the 70 diverse honorees inspire others with their purposeful lives. Award luncheon keynote speakers Joan Ruff, AARP National Board chair, and Paul Tasner, a senior entrepreneur disrupting the paper industry, will highlight the value of experience in their remarks in the October 30 program.

As the award announcement says: It’s about time. Time we acknowledge their contributions. Past. Present. Future. Time we acknowledge that perceptions of age don’t align with reality. Time we stand together as a city. And declare ageism over.

Read honorees’ bios and buy tickets here.

Minnesota: The 2018 “50 Over 50” list celebrates older Minnesotans who have made significant contributions and achievements in their communities. AARP Minnesota and Pollen (an organization that invests in human connection to fuel social change) joined forces on the program.

Encore leader, author (Unretirement) and journalist (Minnesota Public Radio, Next Avenue) Chris Farrell was named to the list. Reviewers included Kate Schaefers, Encore Network member, AARP MN board chair and Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s Advanced Career initiative.

People from across Minnesota nominated community leaders in five categories: arts & culture, nonprofit, business, community building, and disruption. A cohort of leaders in aging then took on the challenging task of narrowing down the list. For more information, go here.