Hometown: Idaho, Rexburg
Emily Hooke is a proud extrovert whose passion for people drives virtually everything she does. While she considers Idaho as home, she's had the privilege of living in seven different states and even in Perú, where she became fluent in Spanish.
Emily's desire to make a positive impact was inspired by her family's tradition of visiting nursing homes during the holidays. Witnessing the decline in residents with limited social interactions deeply affected her. This past year, she has been working on a program to virtually link nursing home residents with their communities, promoting health and bridging generational divides. Emily has long held a vision of a world free from ageism. In fact, before graduating high school she gave a TEDx Talk titled "You Must be This Tall to Change the World", wherein she stressed that self-worth should not be tied to age.
Now a junior at Brigham Young University, Emily is employed with a B Corp called Cotopaxi while pursuing her degree in Public Relations. Her goal is to continue her career in the outdoor industry, specializing in community engagement roles with reputable B-Corps. Post-graduation, she plans to further her career through pursuing an MBA.
When she is not working or studying, Emily loves traveling with her husband, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Emily is passionate about education, diversity, her family, her faith, and chocolate chip cookies.
Summary of New Ideas proposal:
How can we break the cycle of polarization between old and young, thus eliminating the ageism that separates one generation from another? How can we return connection and community to the senior citizens of the United States, helping them to live out their golden years as happily as we hope to one day do?
My fifteen years of experience befriending, singing to, and laughing with the residents of nursing homes throughout Utah and Idaho has not only strengthened my voice; it has strengthened my resolve to be theirs. I witnessed the crippling loneliness which my grandfather faced during his final months of life in a nursing home, and in honor of him, I want to play a role in the solution.
Introducing Insta-Gramp; a simple, engaging, speed-friending application catered to those who move at a slower pace. Recent tactics involving the participation of senior citizens in video calls have seen positive results, but they can be improved. Insta-Gramp’s simple and wireless platform benefits both senior citizens and the younger generation through 15-minute video calls that foster connections and provide mental stimulation. Through Insta-Gramp’s secure app interface, nursing residents will receive the opportunity to chat with real people throughout the day, and community members will have the ability to serve from anywhere, even if they are short on time.
What does the New Ideas Competition mean to you?
For me, the New Ideas Competition was a transformative opportunity. It has given me new ideas, powerful resources, and a network of inspiring individuals to help turn my vision for a better world into a reality. If you're an undergraduate student with an idea for social change that could use a jumpstart, I would strongly recommend applying to the New Ideas Competition.
Advice for new applicants:
My advice is simple: embrace what you are passionate about and stay authentic! Resist the urge to fit into a perceived mold for “winning ideas”. In this competition, your individuality is your strength.