Raleigh resident Jeanne Van Divender receives AARP's highest volunteer honor

Posted on 03/27/24 by Steve Hahn

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(l-r) AARP North Carolina Director Michael Olender, State President Helen Mack, Jeanne Van Divender, and son Devin Buell

RALEIGH, NC – Jeanne Van Divender of Raleigh was presented with the AARP “Andrus Award,” in March. This award recognizes the volunteer in North Carolina who has done the most to share their experience, talents, and skills to enrich the lives of others.

AARP North Carolina Director Michael Olender said, “This is AARP's most prestigious volunteer award that recognizes a community-minded person, AARP member or not, age 50-plus who exemplifies the motto of AARP's founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, “To serve, not to be served.”

Jeanne began her AARP volunteer activity as a Key Legislative Contact where she worked with other advocates to present AARP’s viewpoints to state and federal legislators. With her success at the General Assembly, Jeanne now mentors other volunteers on how to interact with policymakers.

Olender explains, “It is members like Jeanne who are the real voice of AARP. Their interactions with elected officials are what really matters when it comes to illustrating how policy changes can improve people’s lives.”

Jeanne is passionate about education and has become a nationally recognized expert on volunteer training. Additionally, she is a qualified AARP Fraud Watch Network and Home Fit trainer and has presented to many community groups.

While AARP in the Triangle was in a staff transition, she filled in and coordinated AARP’s outreach and volunteers in the region. She also led an effort to recruit new Executive Council members, who, along with Jeanne, are the volunteer leaders of AARP North Carolina. In addition to her work in the state, she is part of several technology teams coordinated by the AARP National Office.

AARP Associate State Director for the Triangle Region Heather Burkhardt said, “Whether it is staffing tables at public events or planning, organizing, and executing volunteer appreciation activities, Jeanne is always there to do whatever is needed.”

In addition to her work with AARP, Jeanne volunteers at her church providing support to people in crisis. Through that work, she has given hundreds of hours of support to family caregivers who have said her assistance has "helped them through otherwise impossible situations."

Prior to retirement, Jeanne worked as an expert data and information manager responsible for pharmaceutical research and development. This expertise helped her greatly in her volunteer role since she was responsible for identifying and evaluating new technology.

She also led cross-functional teams with diverse backgrounds, needs and requirements, and documented the best practices that helped achieve their business goals.

In her time off, Jeanne loves to travel and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

About AARP Volunteers:
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This story is provided by AARP North Carolina. Visit the AARP North Carolina page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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