Co-Founders : Matt Isola and Leslie Getty
It all started when…
A University of Colorado graduate student began putting on free technology workshops for adults 50+ in March of 2018. These workshops paired CU student volunteers with curious adults seeking out help about their technological devices, such as phones and laptops. These adults were able to ask any list of questions about any technological device to these young adults. That passionate graduate student was named Matt Isola. He was testing out these workshops as part of his Master’s degree in Strategic Communication Design at CU.
In 2017, Leslie Getty (a filmmaker for 25 years) noticed the common issue that using today’s “simple technology” does not come as easily or naturally to members of older generations. This problem especially bothered him as he watched his mom struggle to understand her iPad. In the beginning of 2018, Leslie heard of a graduate student who was running workshops to help with this problem… and he was running them all by himself.
Leslie and Matt quickly connected in April of 2018, and thus Generation Exchange was born.
Operations Director : Meryl Balusek
Meryl Balusek graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and a minor in Business Innovation in August of 2017. It is very important to her to expand her knowledge of people and places in the world. She finds great satisfaction in understanding cultures and societies different from her own. She spent the last year working on a women’s empowerment project in Kochi, India. Her goal was to increase gender equality on a local scale, which she hopes will span outward and change the societal attitude towards women in India as a whole.
She joined the Generation Exchange team in August of 2018, and instantly fell in love with the mission of the organization. Meryl recognizes this problem as one of the major issues in American society today. She wishes that someday not only the US, but the world as a whole will be more integrated and inclusive for people of all ages. She believes that Generation Exchange empowers older adults and students, decreases social isolation, and builds an active, involved community of people.