Your vote for one inspiring leader could create opportunities for 40 next-generation innovatorsSusan Mernit was nominated and been selected as one of the top 20 community leaders in the running for the Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation.
For over 60 years, The San Francisco Foundation has recognized inspiring Bay Area leaders who are making daily contributions that are changing the way we work, think and live via the Community Leadership Awards. Past winners have included Michael Franti, Van Jones, Carlos Santana, Alice Waters, and a slew of other local leaders. This year, 7x7 and The San Francisco Foundation have joined forces to present the Hot 20 Community Choice Award.
The winner with the most votes will be featured in an advertorial spread in 7×7‘s Hot 20 Issue and their organization will receive a $20,000 award from The San Francisco Foundation. So, check out your top 20 finalists, get inspired, and then VOTE!
Here's why we think Susan should win:Since Susan left Silicon Valley in 2008, she has been a serial social entrepreneur and capacity builder who has tirelessly and skillfully advocated and increased opportunities for underserved communities through journalism and tech. In a few short years she's launched a number of successful projects that have moved the bar on inequity in the Bay Area:
Here at Hack the Hood, we all feel that Susan is an extraordinary person who inspires each of us to be our best through her inclusive and empowering leadership. She is a passionate, innovative, and entrepreneurial changemaker, and we hope you will cast your vote to recognize her talent, and in the meantime helping us raise stipend funding for our youth.
by Teresa Flores, Youth Participant
As soon as you walk into United Roots on a weekday morning you see around 15 to 20 youth surrounding two tables in the middle of the center. They are all working hard on designing websites for their clients.
“Hey Max can you QA my website?” asks Adrian.
Max walks over does a Quality Assurance check on Adrian’s website before he’s cleared to show it to his client. Adrian gets two thumbs up from Max, who moves on to the next interns that are patiently waiting to QA their work.
Is this a group of students a local youth center?
No, it’s the 2014 cohort of Hack the Hood. While it may sound like I’m part of any ordinary organization, Hack the Hood is much more than that. In just seven short days, I have learned how to build websites, be professional, and work with other youth.
Hack the Hood is a program that helps low-income youth in the Bay Area gain tech skills and professional experience. Youth participants build websites for small local businesses to help them gain online visibility and attain new customers.
The first week we learned the five principles of web design which are know your audience, K.I.S.S (keep it super simple), map out/architecture, form and function, and first impression/user flow. We also started designing our own website to have a better understanding of the platform that we will be using.
In the second week we went through a website design challenge to demonstrate our skills that we have learned. At the end of the sprint, we all had to share our end product to the cohort and get feedback from the instructors.
Now we’re in the most important phase: building sites for our clients. Our sites reflect a diverse array of Oakland businesses, including cafes, burger joints, and children’s clothing stores, so we’re getting a lot of experience.
Hack the Hood also provides mentors from Bay Area tech corporations that guide us through making career goals in tech and building a pipeline to get there. We meet with our mentors once a week and show them what we have done so far. Having mentors supports us because they are people bursting with knowledge. We can ask them anything we want that informs us more about the tech industry, and they teach us some of the skills that they have.
We also get a chance to visit top tech companies like Facebook, Pandora, Google and other companies in the Bay Area.
This will help us picture ourselves in tech related jobs because we will have had experience being at the tech companies. In addition, this will help us think about the connections that we should make if we want to be in a tech company.
By the end of the summer, we will have learned not only how to build websites, but also how to enter the tech industry as tech professionals.
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News items and musings on tech inclusion, youth development, buying local and more.