An Elder’s Gift: Helping Transform the Lives of Young Girls

February 6, 2023
Hosted by Ron Roel

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Patricia King has had a long, extraordinary career —and she continues to evolve with new projects and pursuits, even into her 80s. Pat spent 25 years as an international management consultant, working with Fortune 50 companies like PepsiCo, Chase Bank, and Pfizer, and writing five nonfiction business books, including the bestseller, “Never Work for a Jerk,” which landed her on the Oprah Winfrey show. In her sixties, Pat launched another successful career as a historical mystery writer—with the pen name, Annamaria Alfieri. Her early mysteries, set in South America, were followed by another series set in British East Africa, now Kenya. While working on her last novel, “The Blasphemers,” Pat came across accounts of British missionaries who sought, over 100 years ago, to end the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, imposed on young girls, between the ages of 11 and 14. Just as her book was launched, she made another startling discovery: FGM is still practiced in Kenya, as well as several other African countries. In today’s episode, Pat talks about the latest chapter in her life—how she met a proud Massai woman met named Sarah Lesiamito, who founded the Sidai Resource Center, a nonprofit whose mission is to save Kenyan girls from forced marriages, female genital mutilation and other regressive practices. Pat will describe her own efforts to support Sarah’s mission, raising awareness abroad and funds needed of continue the work of the Sidai Resource Center. Such efforts not only help young girls become full-fledged members of society, but they transform the lives of everyone in their communities.

45 Forward

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Thanks to advances in medicine and health, most of us are just at half-life when we reach our mid-40s, with many potentially productive years ahead. But there’s no road map to prepare us for this period. That’s where 45 Forward comes in.

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Ron Roel

I’m a veteran journalist who spent a wide-ranging career covering business, politics and social issues, the last two decades focusing on the blend of diverse life skills I call successful aging.

I have written extensively on aging topics, spoken at conferences, radio and TV shows, and launched several entrepreneurial ventures, discovering along the way that the path to aging well also requires an unexpected entrepreneurial vision. I spent 20 years as a writer and editor at Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, helping to found Act 2, a weekly section for 50-plus readers. I created Roelresources.com, a website offering practical advice and inspirational essays for people ages 40 and above. I have been a volunteer and consultant to AARP Long Island, writing articles, advocating for seniors, and developing action plans for the AARP Age-Friendly Communities initiative.

I am active in programs and organizations that support seniors, such as the National Aging In Place Council and the Senior Umbrella Network. I have developed a special expertise in family caregiving, as one of four brothers who took care of their mother for almost 25 years. I regularly collaborate with many professionals who provide services and support for older Americans, and I am completing a book for caregivers on Long Island, “The Caregiving Navigator/How to Plan, What to do, and Where to Turn When Caring for you Aging Loved Ones. And Yourself,” scheduled for publication in early 2021.

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