Hack the Hood is turning five this year, and to celebrate this milestone we are highlighting the young people who have brought their skills and passions to our program. We'll be profiling a different young leader each month, with Jodie being our April feature.
1. What made you decide to join Hack the Hood (HtH)? When did you start with HtH?
I joined in January 2017 after I saw a post on Facebook for the Spring Bootcamp. The post asked if I was an entrepreneur, wanted to learn to build a website, and earn money. At the time I really wanted to start a small food business and saw this as an opportunity to kickstart a dream by understanding the tools I’d need to build a thriving business and engage consumers. After I finished the six-week Bootcamp and built a website for Ase Arts, I chose to continue my learning by joining the digital marketing program with Siobhan [HtH Instructor]. What made me want to continue my learning was the positive and confident experience I’d had with my Spring Bootcamp instructors and how I felt connected to the people and my peers at Hack the Hood.
2. What did you learn, that was unexpected? Was there anything that surprised you about the program?
I really learned the concept of networking and self-advocacy. Max [HtH Lead Instructor] taught us how to stay connected to the people we meet and how to leverage those connections for opportunities. Zakiya [HtH CIO] taught us how to use our voice to advocate for ourselves, while building our own confidence.
My biggest takeaway was that we each have our own personal brand - how we present ourselves impacts what people think of us and the impressions we make. I learned to build my personal brand.
3. What are your favorite foods?
My favorite foods are those that remind me of my family - Filipino food, Creole food, and tacos! I love anything over a bowl of steamed white rice…adobo with veggies (ideally from Lucky Three Seven), shrimp gumbo, and carne asada tacos (ideally from Tacos Sinaloa).
4. What do you do for fun?
I love cooking – cooking allows me to feel confident in my creativity and slow down. Cooking for others inspires me to be in community. I also love getting outside and going on adventures. Depending on the weather, who knows what you may find me doing! I enjoy kayaking on the Bay, exploring Redwood Regional Park, and biking along the Bay Trail.
5. What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t watch much TV, but when I do I love to watch Insecure. That show impressed me because it’s different than what you see on TV - I felt it was authentic and relevant. Walking Dead is my other favorite show. I love post-apocalyptic fiction
6. What are three places you enjoy visiting in Oakland?
I like visiting the Emeryville Marina because it’s very low-key and is easier to access the water. Lake Merritt is another fave of mine because there’s always something going on to check out and people to see. My last (but definitely not least) favorite place is Mandela Foods Cooperative because of their awesome members and the community they’ve created there.
7. Who are your top three music artists?
A. Kelela; b. Little Dragon; c. Khruangbin
8. Who do you follow on insta?
NatGeo (for photography); Foundr (inspiring posts); melaninbasecamp (POC outdoor group); and of course Kelela (music artist)!
9. Where’d you grow up? What do you like about Oakland?
I grew up in Long Beach. I moved to Oakland to continue my undergrad studies at UC Berkeley, where I majored in Conservation and Resource Studies.
What I like about Oakland is that it reminds me of my hometown. In Long Beach, we have a lot of diversity – diversity of cultures, activities, food, and perspectives. Oakland is similar with a unique and rich history of culture that I have lots of love and appreciation for.
10. What’s something you’d like to see changed in Oakland? What do you want your contribution to that change to be?
I want to see more people of color (POC) represented in positions of influence - women of color, immigrants of color, queers of color. I also want to see economic justice for our community. I want to see trendy spots coming up in Oakland/San Francisco owned by and supported by POCs. I want to see West Oakland have more green spaces, and still keep the same community who have lived there for generations.
One of my contributions is supporting local, people of color owned businesses as much as possible. I believe that supporting local business is supporting local power and community.
11. What do you appreciate about today’s’ technology?
The ability to share and connect with people. We’re more efficient as humans. At the same time, I struggle with technology and how it impacts jobs for people. For example, I wonder how AmazonGo is going to change the job market in Seattle and what trend that will create in retail stores elsewhere. To me, technology really is a double edged sword.
When I’m not contemplating the double edged sword, I’m mostly using Whatsapp and FB Messenger…no matter where we are in the world, we can connect immediately.
12. What type of technology do you wish you had, but hasn’t been invented yet?
You know how on email you can set an auto-responder…I wish there was a way of creating an auto-responder for text messages! If there are any engineers from Apple, Samsung, or Android reading this...you heard it here first!
13. What would be your dream job? What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would love to have my own food business – serving Filipino and Creole food…I’ve been taking a lot of business classes, following La Cocina, and honing my photography skills so I can take photos of the food I plan to sell (and of course of my travel adventures).
Visit Jodie's website here.
Photography by: Christine Cueto
Hack the Hood Blog
News items and musings on tech inclusion, youth development, buying local and more.