Larry Saxxon of San Francisco, a member of AARP California's Executive Council, graduated today from AARP’s Volunteer Leadership Institute (VLI). This is the third class of VLI, dubbed the “Digital VLI.” It was specially designed to appeal to the new breed of volunteer – those who are tech savvy, younger, and who may still be in the workforce. Larry was one of 33 exceptional volunteers from across the country who completed the course.
VLI is a rigorous and innovative training opportunity launched by AARP in December 2012 to mobilize highly skilled and motivated AARP volunteers to achieve the next level of volunteer leadership. The first class met both in person and virtually over a 13-month period to build their leadership strengths in one of three chosen tracks: advocacy, community outreach, or external representation. Larry chose the external representation track, concentrating on the opportunity technology can play in supporting AARP's social change agenda.
AARP is one of the leading volunteer organizations in the nation, with more than 55,000 active volunteers. Many of them, according to Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond, have the skills and the desire to do even more.
“VLI is an investment in our volunteers – providing resources and opportunities for innovation to take volunteers with proven leadership ability to a new level,” she said. “I know of no other organization has created this type of volunteer development experience.”
The graduation of the VLI’s third class of participants is a critical step forward for AARP as an organization. “We have an ambitious social change agenda aimed at empowering people 50+ to enjoy the way they live and work today, while reaching their goals for tomorrow,” LeaMond said. ”AARP is able to meet our goals by leveraging the talents, the skills, and the tenacity of our volunteers.”
A member of AARP California’s Executive Council since 2013, Larry has countless years of experience with nonprofit, governmental funding, and program development and over 13 years of experience in the field of AIDS services. He worked with Black Entertainment Network to develop the first AIDS education documentary on AIDS in the Black community. He has coauthored and published a number of books and is passionate about educating the Black community on the disease. Larry brings that same passion to our Executive Council, where he assists in advising on policies and statewide strategies with a focus on the LGBT community.
VLI graduates will be taking on new responsibilities, such as serving on committees and task forces and representing AARP as subject matter experts at events and conferences. We are excited for the expanded leadership Larry will bring to our state and offer our congratulations on his achievement!