Client Services Coordinator, Marquita Ridgle, started her career at the Hearing and Speech Center as an intern to complete her Master’s degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University. During her undergraduate studies in mass communications, Marquita took a course on communicating with the aging, and it sparked her passion for senior issues. For her internship, Marquita assisted Clinical Services Manager, Jessie Johnson, with her work funded by the Disability Communications Fund grant.
“I helped with senior outreach by contacting nursing homes, care facilities, and senior centers to coordinate our presentations on ALDs and pocket talkers. Jessie rocked her presentations!” Marquita explained. Because Marquita was such a great fit at the Center, she was hired as a Client Services Coordinator after her internship.
As the Client Services Coordinator, Marquita thrives by doing hands on work with our senior clients, such as scheduling appointments, helping clients navigate insurances, answering their questions, and being the first friendly face they see when they walk in the door.
“I wish people were more sensitive to seniors, because getting old is a blessing,” she said. “The aging population is growing, and we need more laws and policies in place to protect them. They’re a gateway to the future if you take the time to listen to their stories. Working here opened my eyes to the fact that certain entities often take advantage of the elderly. We need laws to protect seniors’ health care coverage, because they are all too often scammed out of their benefits. We need more awareness of senior health issues, and funding towards Alzheimer’s research.”
The Hearing and Speech Center is lucky to have such a great staff member who is passionate about our mission and our community!