Nathan Mallipeddi: A support system to empower those who stutter | Pro Club Bd

ladder work is a publishing platform for diverse picture books and online curricula with a mission to empower over a million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our latest series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship ecosystem builders who are driving the UN SDGs.

Hello friends, it’s Spiffy, back on planet earth with one eye on entrepreneurs making the world a fairer place! Today I’m excited to drive around with Nathan Mallipeddi, Founder and CEO of Myspeech. Are you ready to be inspired?

Chic: Hello Nathan. Many thanks for being here today. What challenge does Myspeech address?

Nathan: It’s a pleasure to be here, Spiffy! Did you know that more than 70 million people worldwide stutter?

Chic: No I haven’t!

Nathan: But very few speech therapists are trained in stuttering – less than 0.1%! There are three main reasons for this gap: specialized speech therapy is hard to find; Stuttering services are expensive at $15,000 per year with minimal insurance coverage; and less than 0.02% of people who stutter remain aware of specialized services by engaging in impactful peer communities.

Chic: Did that motivate you to found Myspeech?

Nathan: That, plus the fact that my day-to-day interactions growing up were undermined by my own stutter, resulting in an inability to form meaningful friendships. I became anxious, depressed and silent. Over the years I learned to embrace my stutter and spent many hours trying to find my voice. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of speech therapists and peers; However, many who stutter lack stable support networks. I founded Myspeech to build this support system and empower millions of people to reach their full potential.

Chic: You are an inspiration, Nathan. Can you explain the work you are doing to build a more just world for us?

Nathan: Society places a high value on communication and there are millions of people who stutter and feel like there is no place in the world for them. The Myspeech platform gives people who stutter the tools to improve their quality of life. We are assembling a network of patients with stuttering-focused resources including visits to experienced therapists, educational content, mobile applications for practicing speaking techniques; and community resources (support groups and mentoring).

Chic: Tell me about a recent organizational milestone or initiative. What are the implications?

Nathan: Myspeech has helped 25,000 people in 26 countries who stutter and we’ve demonstrated up to a 90% improvement in quality of life. Each person who stutters has a unique journey – there is no one solution that works for everyone. Our goal is to connect people who stutter with personalized resources. We are also committed to community advocacy by partnering with prominent figures in the stuttering community, including NBA player Michael Kidd Gilchrist, to lobby for a congressional health insurance bill on stuttering.

Chic: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What have you learned from failure?

Nathan: As a policy intern in the LA Department on Disability, I developed a policy proposal that was shredded by my principal. I was discouraged at first, but I persistently asked for feedback. After spending countless hours revising the piece, I re-presented the proposal. He loved it! I have learned that mistakes are not only an opportunity to improve, but also a necessary milestone on the road to success. With this growth mentality, I have learned to actively seek failure.

Chic: What did you unexpectedly learn from someone recently?

Nathan: A friend of mine recently drew my attention to how many thoughts we have every day. I thought it would be interesting if I tried to keep an online journal of almost every thought I had. I realized that about 50% of my thoughts were about things that either didn’t matter or were out of my control. It was a great lesson!

Chic: I have to try this soon! Is there anything else you would like to say to our audience before I let you go?

Nathan: Around the world there are more than 70 million people who stutter and up to 790 million people with some type of communication disorder. Our goal is to scale our services to reach 1 million people who stutter in five years. One day we hope to be able to expand our platform to accommodate every single speech or language disability. Our vision is to create a world where everyone has access to the tools to speak freely and reach their full potential.

Chic: More power for you and Myspeech, Nathan. Thank you for speaking to me today – it was an honor!

An MD/MBA student at Harvard and Stanford, Nathan Mallipeddi is a proud stutterer and the founder of My speech. Myspeech is an international non-profit organization that uses technology to connect people who stutter with life-changing therapies and community resources. He also serves on leadership teams for several international stuttering awareness organizations.(Nominated by Alex Parks of Harvard Innovation Labs. First published on the Ladderworks website on July 15, 2022.)

© 2022 Leiterwerk LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Visit Spiffy’s Corner to see Ladderworks’ digital curriculum helping K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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