Hack the Hood announced a number of partnerships today that will bring its programming to over 200 young people in and beyond the Bay Area over the next 12 months. In addition to running programs in Oakland this summer, Hack the Hood will work with nine California nonprofits to deliver a unique tech-training model where low-income youth of color learn skills by building websites for local small businesses in a 6-week bootcamp. The partner organizations are Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Collective Impact, and the Vietnamese Youth Development Center in San Francisco, as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula in East Palo Alto, Silicon Valley Children's Fund/TeenForce in San Jose, and Project Yes and EMPOWER, as part of a larger central valley partnership with California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC) of the Public Health Institute.
“We’re excited to have so many inspiring partners this year, helping to bring training, support, and networking opportunities to young people interested in tech around the state,” said Zakiya Harris, co-founder and Chief Education Officer of Hack the Hood. “It’s especially important to us that these are non-profits with deep relationships within their local communities, as this has always been an essential part of our work in Oakland.”
Hack the Hood was a winner of the 2014 Google Bay Area Impact Challenge, and has since leveraged that award towards continued growth and development. As the tech industry becomes increasingly aware of its lack of diversity, and as communities of color continue to lack access to needed training, Hack the Hood is laying the groundwork for a national model around building the 21st century skills of young people of color, while creating new pathways to successful careers in tech, and beyond.
Each of the partner organizations implementing Hack the Hood programs was selected through a rigorous process, for their shared vision of youth development, deep ties in the community, and existing case management and/or job placement services to help youth translate what they learn in the bootcamp to the real world. For example, in San Jose, TeenForce and Silicon Valley Children’s Fund will integrate the Hack the Hood curriculum with an ongoing foster youth training program, which is part of a Clinton Global America commitment to bring STEM training and paid internships to 100% of Santa Clara County high school foster youth.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to enhance our existing program,” said John Hogan, CEO of TeenForce. “The youth who complete the Hack the Hood skills training will develop websites for local businesses, which will enhance their preparation for a paid internship - while helping them develop general business and entrepreneurship skills.”
Throughout California young people of color are seeking jobs which match their potential, while small businesses are looking to compete in the 21st century tech economy. Hack the Hood, with its partners and through its innovative programs, looks to bridge these gaps in opportunity.
"The young people in our programs aren’t just building websites for small businesses or picking up crucial tech skills which increase their earning potential," said Susan Mernit, Hack the Hood’s CEO and co-founder, "they’re also giving those businesses a chance to bring in more customers, keeping jobs close to home, and ultimately increasing the likelihood that people living in their own neighborhoods will have access to the goods and services they need. We think this is one way to truly create a more inclusive and equitable future for everyone."
BACKGROUND ON OUR PARTNERS:
TeenForce: A social enterprise that helps youth acquire the skills habits and work experience to fulfill their potential. TeenForce’s non-profit staffing agency matches well-prepared youth, ages 14 – 24, with employers who need to fill open positions.
Silicon Valley Children's Fund: The mission of the Silicon Valley Children's Fund is to improve educational and life outcomes for foster youth. Our programs offer scholarships, academic coaching and mentorship support to help our youth successfully complete high school, achieve their higher education dreams and become self-reliant contributing members of our community as adults.
Bayview Hunters Point YMCA: For more than 160 years, the YMCA has made accessible support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and become healthy by addressing unique needs at a local community level. Through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves our community’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.
Collective Impact: Collective Impact administers 3 community-based programs: Mo'MAGIC, a collaborative of Western Addition service providers; Magic Zone, a youth development program; and Ella Hill Hutch Community Center, a neighborhood hub that provides safe space for programming. Mo’MAGIC partners address issues facing Western Addition children and families. Magic Zone offers comprehensive out-of-school time programming for K-12 youth and workforce development for transitional-aged-youth, ages 18-24. The community center provides space for tennis lessons, Zumba, health/wellness fairs, gym access for teams/groups, and special events. Our diverse staff possesses the education, experience, and passion required to work with youth with challenging backgrounds and tremendous potential.
The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula: BGCP’s mission is to provide low-income youth of our community with the opportunities that enable them to graduate ready to succeed in college or career.
Vietnamese Youth Development Center: The mission of VYDC is to empower underserved Asian-Pacific Islander and urban youth with the knowledge and confidence to define their future and reach their full potential. We do this by developing leadership skills, supporting academics, providing job opportunities, and strengthening relationships with family and community.
California Adolescent Health Collaborative: The California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC), a project of the Public Health Institute, aims to protect and improve the wellness of California's youth by building capacity in systems and seeding innovation through research. We strengthen the systems and organizations that support California's adolescents so that young people have the knowledge, skills, and resources to make a healthy transition to adulthood. The Collaborative has taken the lead in developing and coordinating the Central Valley Healthy Relationships and Economic Pathways (H-REP) initiative to address adolescent relationship abuse, its contributors (with a special focus on economic under-development), and its impacts on mental and physical health. Youth leaders and their adult allies at youth-serving organizations from multiple sectors, including EMPOWER and Project YES, collaborate as invaluable partners in this systems change work. EMPOWER and Project Yes both aim to connect out-of-school youth to economic opportunities in their respective counties (Merced and Stanislaus). Each will host multiple Hack the Hood bootcamps for their clients over the next five years. This initiative is funded by the Dept. of Health and Human Services' Office of Family Assistance.
Over the past year, as we’ve continued to improve our programs and build out our capacity to serve the local community, Hack the Hood has slowly outgrown our home at Impact Hub in Oakland.
While we’ll continue to be engaged with our friends at the Hub, we’re thrilled to announce that we've now moved into our very own office space at 439 International Boulevard! The new spot is part of a mixed-use building developed by Oakland-based creative real estate company OpenDoor.
This is a big step for us as an organization, as it’s the first time we’ve had a place to call our own. This move is not only about making room for our expanding team, but more importantly, it’s about wanting to build community in Oakland and provide a safe space for the young people we work with.
We hope that this office becomes a meeting place where the local community can come together and join us in supporting young people of color and small businesses.
To celebrate, on Thursday, April 28th, we’re holding a Housewarming Event, to meet our neighbors and to welcome people to Hack the Hood! Anyone who’s interested in learning more about our work, or connecting with our staff, is welcome to come out for some fun, mingling, and snacks
We’re honored to have your continued support and look forward to doing important work in Oakland for many more years to come.
Hack the Hood is deeply saddened by the loss of Joshmahl Russell, a member of RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, who participated in Hack the Hood programs last summer. Joshmahl lost his life to gun violence this past weekend in Richmond, at the age of 21.
Joshmahl had a tremendous impact on all those who knew him here, and our entire team feels the loss of this young person whose life was unfairly cut short. You can read and view some of Joshmahl's work here, on a blog he contributed to last year. RYSE has also set-up a donating page to support his family as they deal with this shocking loss.
You can give to the Joshmahl Russell Family Fund by clicking here.
Our thoughts remain with Joshmahl's family and friends during this difficult time.
With heavy hearts,
The Hack the Hood Family
Hack the Hood Blog
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