Stay Safe While Walking Alone
As Angela Rucci claimed during her Ted Talk called "Text Me When You Get Home," walking alone is scary.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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According to Rucci, four in 10 Americans feel unsafe within one mile of their home, while 87% of women experienced extreme harassment in a public place.
Angela was one of those women. She was assaulted while shopping at a local grocery store. Since then, she started telling her friends, "Hey, text me when you get home."
Most of the time, they forgot to update her. Angela realized that if something would happen to any of her friends along the way, they're not going to be able to text her.
With a bachelor's degree in Science, Computer Science, and Engineering, Angela decided to create Tego, an app that protects women while walking alone. How? by sending live video footage to the assigned protectors, which can be provided to the police or any other authority to come to the rescue when the user feels unsafe.
The user only needs to put their destination. Once there, the protector will receive a notification letting them know that the other person arrived safely at home.
The app's concept is pretty simple: you say where you're going and who you want to notify, you can pick up to 10 people. They will get a notification if they have the app or a text if they don't. The protector can see the whole trip in real-time.
As a female coder in a male-dominated field, Angela says that it is more important to find her own fix. The name Tego comes from the Harry Potter book series. "Protego" was the spell that caused this invisible shield around the wizards to keep them safe.
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The app is not just for college students or women but also for seniors who might want their family to know when they get somewhere safely. Angela spent long days of coding sessions to make this app.
To help police officers, Angela added to Tego longitude, latitude, phone battery percentage speed, and elevation. This means that when the user feels unsafe and uses the app to report her ubication to authorities, the police will find them even if the person in danger is in a building.
Angela concludes in her Ted Talk, "It's crazy to think back on how I started from a victim who was letting her assault take over her life and was scared to leave her own home." Then she adds "to a survivor who's empowered and helping people stay safe while they're on the go."
There's no doubt that Angela's braveness and software engineering talent inspire many other women to reach for help when they feel in danger. Her story is very inspiring and touching since she made her dream a reality to help the people she cared about.
Besides being the co-founder of Tego, Angela works at a business analytics service company in California. Her experience has helped make a huge difference and led her to a unique journey full of challenges and rewards.