Messages from the Chair
Narendra P. Sharma, PhD
Chair, Board of Directors
On November 11, 2013, Encore.org announced that I was being recognized as a 2013 Purpose Prize fellow. The Purpose Prize is the country’s only large-scale investment in social entrepreneurs and other creative problem solvers in the second half of life. According to ENCORE.org “Purpose Prize fellows are using their passion and experience to help solve some of society’s toughest problems … They represent a growing wave of people in their 60s and beyond who are using their know-how to change the world, while shifting perceptions of what is possible in this stage of life.”
I am humbled by this recognition. I also realize that it is really a tribute to the many individuals who have made the Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC) successful. And as I look beyond ego and emotion, I realize that this recognition is not the purpose of my involvement in community service.
Lasting inner peace and happiness come from our connection with people and nature … helping people who are in need, those who are vulnerable, and those who are suffering from poverty, social injustice, and not having the choices that many of us had from the outset or have now. Each day I aspire to do good and the greatest feeling is when you help others achieve happiness and love. Yesterday, a mother told me proudly that her daughter who is attending NOC’ after school program got three awards in school … there was a smile on the daughter’s face when I congratulated her. There are many other examples like this family who are trying to get ahead in life. This is my purpose … touching the lives of people.