MetLife Foundation Sponsors The Purpose Prize® for Financial Inclusion: $25,000 Award to Mauricio Lim Miller, founder of Family Independence Initiative

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The Purpose Prize, a program of Encore.org, recognizes and rewards the achievements of social innovators over 60. MetLife Foundation is the sponsor of Miller’s $25,000 award.

On October 28, 2014, Mauricio Lim Miller, founder, president and CEO of the Family Independence initiative, will be named the 2014 winner of The Purpose Prize® for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation. The Purpose Prize, a program of Encore.org, recognizes and rewards the achievements of social innovators over 60. MetLife Foundation is the sponsor of Miller’s $25,000 award.

The Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, recognizes an outstanding individual working to alleviate poverty. Mauricio Lim Miller’s unorthodox approach to ending poverty has helped hundreds of families double their savings and increase their income.

“So many people have the ambition and talent to climb the socioeconomic ladder, but too often, the next rung is constantly out of reach,” Miller said. “My mother sacrificed everything to give me the opportunity to build a better life. Through the Family Independence Initiative, we have found a way to help other poor families do the same, with outstanding, inspiring results.”

“We’re proud to be a part of Encore.org’s Purpose Prize program and to support The Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, granted this year to Mauricio Lim Miller. His proven commitment to improving the financial and personal autonomy of a long-underserved community exemplifies MetLife Foundation’s global commitment to bringing financial inclusion to low-income communities around the world,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of the MetLife Foundation.

“We are grateful for MetLife Foundation’s vision and commitment in partnering with Encore.org and The Purpose Prize. With its generous support, MetLife Foundation sets itself apart as a visionary leader in the nonprofit sector. We look forward to continuing to work with MetLife Foundation to recognize the powerful impact of Mauricio Lim Miller’s encore,” said Eunice Lin Nichols, director of The Purpose Prize, created by Encore.org.

Miller and additional winners of The Purpose Prize will be honored on October 28, 2014, at an awards ceremony at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona. MetLife Foundation president and CEO Dennis White will be on hand to present Miller’s award. Emmy-award winning journalist Jane Pauley and 2013 Purpose Prize winner Ysabel Duron will emcee the event, which will include hundreds of encore leaders and current and prior Purpose Prize honorees.

Twenty-four jurors — leaders in business, politics, media and the nonprofit sector — chose the six winners of The Purpose Prize. An additional 38 Purpose Prize fellows were selected from a pool of nearly 800 nominees. Jurors include Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount; David Bornstein, author and New York Times columnist; Eric Liu, author and founder of Citizen University; and Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Purpose Prize was created in 2005 by Encore.org, formerly Civic Ventures, with major investments from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation. Since 2005, more than 430 people have been recognized as Purpose Prize winners or fellows.

For more information about The Purpose Prize and to nominate a candidate for the 2015 Purpose Prize, visit http://www.encore.org/prize.

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About MetLife Foundation. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $600 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies. The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited-life foundation that will complete grantmaking in 2016. To learn more, please visit http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.

About the John Templeton Foundation. The John Templeton Foundation (http://www.templeton.org) serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights

About Encore.org. Encore.org is a national nonprofit that is building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world. The Purpose Prize is a program of Encore.org.

About Mauricio Lim Miller. In 2001, long-time social worker Mauricio Lim Miller had grown cynical about the nonprofit sector’s ability to improve society by throwing money at the neediest cases. But then he started thinking about his mother, a Mexican immigrant with a third-grade education who had sacrificed everything to save money for his college education, helping break the family cycle of poverty.
That’s when he hit upon a simple but powerful idea: Put low-income families in the driver’s seat of their own progress. In that moment, the Family Independence Initiative (FII) was born. FII turns the conventional nonprofit model on its head by enrolling families in groups with friends. These friends —not staff — provide peer counseling and direction, reinforcing the centrality of self-determination and initiative. Participants work together to make progress on their own priorities, including homeownership, business, education, health and community-building. For example, FII families have pooled their resources in 40 “lending circles” worth $1.5 million that have helped families with emergencies, debt, education and launching new businesses. Participants track their own economic and social data through an online journaling system and share stories and make connections through an FII-hosted social media site. In turn, FII uses the data to develop resources that leverage what families are already doing to get ahead. FII is currently partnering with nearly 1,000 families in Oakland, San Francisco, Fresno, Boston, Detroit and New Orleans. On average, they have doubled their savings and increased earnings by 24 percent. One-third have started small businesses and 80 percent of the children have improved their grades. Miller hopes his solution for helping families fight poverty will spur others to think more creatively. “We need to stop our myopic focus on where people are struggling and instead invest in the initiatives people are taking to get ahead,” he says. “We must ensure that all families have access to the American dream. That would really make my mother proud.” ($25,000 winner of The Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation)

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