November 2, 2009

Purpose Prize 2009 Winner - James Smallwood

This weekend the San Francisco non-profit organization Civic Ventures held their annual Encore Careers Summit, where they introduced to a very large crowd the winners of the 2009 Purpose Prize. Talking Eyes Media produced a short video for each of the winners, traveling all over the United States this fall to meet and film the recipients. Along the way we met many wonderful people doing amazing things with their second or third (or fourth!) careers.

In honor of the Summit, we'll be posting a video a day to our blog, so that you can get to know the winners a little better. If you want to see all the videos right now, head over to our website where we have a special page devoted to the Purpose Prize winners. To read more in depth information on each winner head over to encore.org. We'll start off today with the first winner we filmed, James Smallwood from Camden, NJ.

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James Smallwood was homeless, drug-addicted, and bug-infested. Knowing he might die on the streets, he got himself into a rehabilitation center and promised God that he if got clean, he would help others. Smallwood beat his cocaine dependency and is now fulfilling his vow through a nonprofit he created to serve ex-convicts, drug addicts, and the homeless in Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. The organization trains program participants for work in the construction trades, while helping them with reading, math, and job-hunting skills.