An active volunteer at the AARP New Jersey State Office for the past five years, Richard Satyavan’s background is in Information Technology. “After my retirement from IT work in 2009, I decided to begin volunteering through AARP to help seniors using my IT skills and expertise,” said Richard. “My mission now is to be a life coach for seniors who need help concerning their health, finances, and quality of life.”
Richard truly exemplifies what an AARP volunteer should encompass, the reason he was chosen as the recipient of the 2015 Andrus Award for Community Service – the highest honor an AARP state volunteer can receive. The Andrus Award recognizes outstanding individuals who are sharing their experience, talents, and skills to enrich the lives of others. He is an AARP NJ State advocacy volunteer for finance and health concerns, an AARP Tax aide volunteer helping people prepare and file taxes, an AARP NJ Driver Safety instructor zone coordinator, and an AARP NJ Speaker bureau speaker. Besides volunteering at AARP, Richard is a dynamic community member, working with the NJ State Health Insurance Assistance Program, the NJ Senior Medicare Patrol, the Princeton Alliance Church, the National Council on Aging, and the Middlesex County Court Guardianship Monitoring Program.
This year Richard was chosen to represent AARP New Jersey as a steering committee member for the New Jersey White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) regional conferences and subsequently represented New Jersey at the WHCOA at the White House in August. Concentrating on the wellbeing of baby boomers in the upcoming decade, Richard and the New Jersey team advocated for retirement income, healthy aging, long term care support, and elder abuse and justice at the conference.
AARP has inspired Richard to engage with an organization that has a vision statement in line with his own. Volunteering at AARP has allowed Richard to utilize vast resources and service opportunities to become more involved in his community. He has encouraged his wife Chitra to also volunteer, as well as his tax aide clients, and Driver Safety program participants. He wishes that others saw AARP as he does – “an American Association of Real Possibilities.” Richard wants his community members to let go of the notion of “retired and old” and let in “re-imagined and real-possibilities.”
Currently, Richard is focused on his advocacy work building AARP New Jersey’s coalition in support of the Secure Choice Savings Program Act and partnering with staff in lobbying legislators to win them over. With many victories under his belt, Richard is proud to share AARP New Jersey’s mission with others.
Volunteers interested in Advocacy can help change laws in New Jersey. There are also volunteer positions available in education, communication, grassroots, and more. Interested in volunteering? Please contact Jessica Cheng, Senior Program Specialist, at JCheng@aarp.org.