50 MIW honoree: Jennifer Feuerstein

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Jennifer Feuerstein. 616 Media

Jennifer Feuerstein

Associate state director

AARP

 

Gerontology is a field that found Jennifer Feuerstein at a crucial juncture, and the passion she has developed for it shines through in everything she does.

A journalist by training, Feuerstein found her world crumbling after a divorce left her homeless, impoverished and unable to find a job from ages 33 to 34 during the throes of the Great Recession. Although she had no experience in either field, she sold herself as the right candidate for a job in marketing at the geriatric health care organization Care Resources PACE in 2008.

Feuerstein educated herself over the next six years, receiving a certification in aging from Grand Rapids Community College and joining committees and task forces to learn everything she could. In 2014, she was hired as associate state director for AARP.

A year later, she became WOTV 4’s on-air correspondent on aging, and in 2020 during the pandemic, she became co-host of the weekly “Real Possibilities” show on the same network.

In everything she does, Feuerstein seeks to fight ageism. She said her most significant business accomplishment has been helping the city of Grand Rapids launch as an Age-Friendly Community in a partnership between AARP and the World Health Organization and kicking off a 23-stop listening tour with Mayor Rosalynn Bliss to help the city become more livable for people of all ages. She also served on the city of Grand Rapids’ Equitable Economic Development & Mobility Steering Committee.

Among her many other community service activities, Feuerstein is board chair of Designed Future, a nonprofit that creates solutions to complex social issues, and is a board member of Hope for Single Moms. 

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