Roma Ankolekar’s grandmother tragically passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, motivating her to start the website Dementia Insight to spread awareness about dementia and provide resources for the families affected. It has over 200 readers monthly and has 38 blog articles published. On September 21, 2019, World Alzheimer’s Day, Dementia Insight hosted a seminar titled “Dementia Insight: Aging Well in the 21st Century” in Cupertino, California to educate community members about dementia and the resources available. The Vice-Mayor of Cupertino, President of the Cupertino Library Foundation, a neurologist, and a memory care facility owner presented at the event to 54 attendees.
Ankolekar’s favorite part about her organization is her interactions with followers on social media. She feels as if her purpose is renewed every time she receives a message that one of her blog posts positively impacted someone’s journey. “Dementia Insight was started to help individuals who have family members dealing with dementia, and it feels great to know that it is achieving its goal.”
Dementia Insight grew through persistence: “It took months of creating weekly content, posting on social media, and sending out monthly bulletins to keep readers actively engaged.” Her advice to aspiring youth activists is to just get started! “Starting an organization may seem daunting at first but it gets easier as you begin building your platform. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow activists for advice!”
A rising senior at Monta Vista High School, Ankolekar is passionate about STEM and hopes to be a part of a research team that finds a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in the future. She is also actively involved in the Future Practicing Physicians Network, Neuroscience, California Scholarship Foundation, and TedX clubs at her high school.
Learn more at dementiainsight.org