Hack the Hood is a unique program that trains and mentors low-income youth of color in tech and web development and then deploys them to construct mobile-friendly websites for local businesses.
"When youth in our program build a website for a small business, they are not only gaining valuable tech skills that can immediately increase their earning potential," said co-director Susan Mernit, "they are also helping struggling business owners reach more customers, and helping people in low income neighborhoods find the goods and services they need locally, so their money supports jobs close to home. This is the kind of virtuous circle that can be a real game changer for communities that have previously been shut out of the digital economy."
In addition to offering training and real-world work experience, Hack the Hood teaches youth about the tech careers. The program integrates professionals working in technology fields as mentors, guest speakers, and field-trip hosts so that youth get introduced to the variety of jobs open to them if they stick to their education and career goals. Program participants get to visit companies like Google, Facebook, Weebly, Pandora, Ask.com and others to see where the tech they use every day is made.
"This is an amazing opportunity for Hack the Hood to take this model and bring it to other cities in the Bay Area. It is a huge vote of confidence in our model," said co-director Zakiya Harris, "but we need everyone to vote!"
To vote for Hack the Hood, go to: https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/
Get more information on Hack the Hood and the voting campaign at votehackthehood.com
Other ways the public can support Hack the Hood during the campaign:
1) Vote now at https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/
2) Join our Mailing list at www.votehackthehood.com (http://www.votehackthehood.com)and forward our communications to friends
3) Promote us on social media: Like, Comment and Share us on Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumbler:
● @hackthehood #top10 #GoogleImpactChallenge. Vote now to train 5,000 youth to build websites for 25K small businesses www.votehackthehood.com
● Is your kid forever online? We channel that pet peeve into a career path. #votehackthehood for #googleimpactchallenge
● Support tech careers for low income youth AND better visibility for local small business www.votehackthehood.com #GoogleImpactChallenge
● www.votehackthehood.com to bring together #SiliconValley #lowincomeyouth & #smallbusinesses to prepare next generation #tech #leaders
4) Post your selfie as part of our viral campaign: Take a picture with our “I Voted Hack the Hood” sign (found at: http://www.votehackthehood.com/
5) Attend an event with your friends: we’ll be hosting and attending meetups and events throughout the campaign. Find a list at: http://www.votehackthehood.com/
URLS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Google Bay Area Impact Challenge voting site: g.co/bayareachallenge
Campaign site for Hack the Hood: votehackthehood.com
Hack the Hood: hackthehood.org
Follow Hack the Hood on Social Media
● Facebook http://facebook.com/
● Twitter https://twitter.com/
● Instagram http://instagram.com/
● Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/
● Tumblr http://hackthehood.tumblr.com/
BACKGROUND ON HACK THE HOOD
Founded in 2012, Hack the Hood is changing the way low income youth learn tech skills by giving them the training and confidence to go into their neighborhoods and create mobile-friendly websites for small local businesses. This hands-on learning approach is supported by mentoring, career planning, and visits to technology companies where students talk and interact with engineers, product developers, UI/UX designers, and community managers so they can make connections between the work they are doing, further education, and real-world jobs.
About the Center for Media Change
Hack the Hood is a project of the Center for Media Change, a 501c3 founded in 2007 that focuses on using media and technology to educate in ways that affect positive social change. Other CMC projects include Oakland Local, a local news site that reaches more than 90,000 local readers every month, mostly based in Oakland and San Francisco, and Live Work Oakland, a site tracking tech startups and business innovators in Oakland, CA through an interactive map and business directory.