AARP Eye Center
Life Reimagined Checkup Facilitator and Entrepreneur
The elder Aziz had a strong desire to help other people succeed in business. Omar, Jr. shared his father’s desire and, in the late 80s, started an organization called PIE—Participating in Entrepreneurship—and began conducting classes for budding entrepreneurs. Known as “Omar the Pie Man,” Omar Aziz, Jr.'s father was so loved in New Orleans, they raised money to erect a statue in his honor.
Omar learned about Life Reimagined when he was invited to teach a class for a Small Business Association Encore Entrepreneur event at the AARP Louisiana state office. Right away he felt that Life Reimagined was “great synergy” for what he was already doing in his own entrepreneur courses.
He was so inspired that he reached out to AARP LA’s Linedda McIver, ASD for Community Outreach, and said, “I want to help AARP, but I don’t know how.” The two went to one of the first Life Reimagined Train-the-Trainer Checkups in Tampa, and he’s been a Life Reimagined Checkup leader ever since. Later, he was asked to train trainers in New Orleans, and has trained over 20 people to become Checkup coaches.
Just like his father, Omar went from selling pies to helping people get a piece of the pie. “My father believed every meal should end with something good, warm and sweet,” he said. “What my father taught me, and what I hope everyone can remember of him, was his belief that nobody should go through life without getting their piece of the pie—their part, no matter how small or large, of the American dream.”
He says the concept of reimagining one's life is great, not just for the 50 and older population, but also for millennials who are on the cusp of figuring out their next steps.
Omar is actively involved in helping high school and college students develop business skills. He is also integrating the Life Reimagined Checkup with other AARP Work content, and working with employees of Praline Connection in New Orleans to help develop a program for folks interested in starting their own businesses.
Maya and Omar’s journeys are very different, but both demonstrate how Life Reimagined is resonating with so many self-defined students of life. And these students, like Maya and Omar, are discovering and re-discovering their passions, and then want to pass on their personal experiences and knowledge for the greater good. Most of all, they want to motivate others to live their best lives.
—Nina Halper, Employee Communications