“Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton
Hi everyone! My name is Alexandra Garthe – but those who know me call me Ally! So congrats, you are now a part of my inner circle :).
Even though I have been a part of the Speak2 team for a while now, I haven’t formally introduced myself. As we enter 2022 and I reflect on my one-year anniversary with Speak2, now feels like the perfect time!
I am a senior at the Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, graduating this May with a degree in Marketing and Business Analytics & Information Technology. At Speak2, I serve as a Marketing Analyst Intern, where I get to geek out over analyzing data on our current market environment, get a little too carried away designing materials for our senior living communities, and much more! Working at Speak2 started as a spring internship to learn more about marketing that has turned into so much more – a chance to help and empower the underserved senior population with a pretty cool team and awesome technology!
“No one teaches us how to deal with the marks of aging.” – David Lereah
I am fortunate enough to have grown up very close with all of my grandparents. As I have gotten older, their “marks of aging” have become a greater part of who they are, and therefore a greater concern to my family and me. We all took on a more active role in their care: driving them to doctor’s appointments, going grocery shopping, doing household chores, managing medication, assisting with their mobility, and more. However, even though we were there for the visible physical challenges, they needed more mental and emotional support. During the pandemic, that aspect of their health is what declined the most, leading to the decision that we would all quarantine together and rise to meet this equally important component of a caregiver’s role.
This change in my environment opened my eyes to how little I really knew of my grandparents’ “marks of aging,” and how little we as a society emphasize how our elderly loved ones’ physical limitations impact their mental and emotional wellbeing. Not only that, we don’t really talk about how family caregivers are supposed to navigate the aging process, and what resources that actually work are available to help support our elderly loved ones.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
It’s crazy how our personal and professional lives intertwine in the way they do, but I think that’s a good thing. What you care about shouldn’t be put on hold for the 8 hours a day you are in the office (virtually or in-person). At Speak2, we all have our own stories of why we want to make a difference and positively impact our community. That is why Speak2 is important not only to me, but to everyone who interacts with our platform. Speak2 is a team with a strong entrepreneurial spirit dedicated to creating a working and relevant solution that touches the lives of seniors, their families, and their caregivers. Speak2 recognizes that it takes a circle of people to support our loved ones in aging with a high quality of life – physically and emotionally. Whether that be aging in place or in a senior living community.
Speak2 provides a way for seniors to message and call their loved ones by simply asking Alexa with their voice – no complicated touch screens or buttons that are often major barriers for seniors, including my grandma. Even better, Speak2 with Alexa gives seniors an opportunity to engage more with the world around them – accessing the internet, playing games, listening to music, and more! Seeing both my grandparents so excited to listen to classical Italian or Greek music during dinner by just asking Alexa is a little detail that goes a long way in putting a smile on someone’s face. The best part for me is the peace of mind it brings to families who simply want to make sure their aging loved one is safe and supported through daily check-ins, calling for help, and so much more.
I am thankful every minute I get to be a part of this team, and can’t wait for what’s to come!!!