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 Danny being our August feature
1. What made you decide to join Hack the Hood (HtH)? When did you start with HtH?
I decided to join the Summer Bootcamp back in 2015 because I didn't have a specific track to focus on as a business administration major. I wanted to focus on tech because it seems fitting since I live in Oakland - right across Silicon Valley. That made me curious to see what would happen if I joined Hack the Hood. The boot camp helped me learn about technology and web design. We had the chance to visit tech companies where I got exposed to the industry.
2. What did you learn that was unexpected? Was there anything that surprised you about the program?
After the summer boot camp, I decided to join Hack the hood's Digital Marketing Program - which I didn’t expect I would be much interested in. The program hosted a workshop on Google AdWords. Then, I was given real business clients to work on ad campaigns for. I got exposed to the world of digital marketing, and I learned how online ads target you on the Internet. This experience inspired me to be a video creator on LinkedIn.
3. What are your favorite foods?
I love eating fried chicken. I enjoy the crunchiness of it, and it always great when it’s seasoned well. I also like to eat chocolate chip cookies after each meal.
4. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy meditating. It helps me reflect on my thoughts and gives me ideas from the Universe on how I can improve the next day. I especially like to meditate at Bay Farm in Alameda, where I see the SF city lights shining for me.
5. What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t watch tv. I believe that having a tv in my room is an electronic income reducer since it distracts me from being productive. But when I was younger, I loved watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.
6. What are three places you enjoy visiting in the Bay Area and beyond?
7. Who are your top music artists?
My top music artist is Lady Gaga because she inspired me to do public speaking during my middle school career and to not be afraid to go up on stage and sing at my first talent show when I was 13-years-old. My second favorite artist is Madonna because she's almost in her 60s and still makes hits. She's the one who pioneered to make people feel brave about who they are.
8. Who do you follow on insta?
I don't have an Instagram account. I do follow a lot of people on YouTube - including a spiritual leader called Teal Swan. Their channel has helped me learn how to be more spiritual with my meditation, be more mindful of my emotions, and how ground myself in tight situations. I also follow a YouTuber named Thomas Frank, who is a leader in study-skills management and has taught me how to manage my school tasks each day.
9. Where’d you grow up? What do you like about Oakland?
I grew up in East Oakland, which is filled with a diverse resident population. I value diversity a lot because I love learning from the different cultures, their languages, and their traditions - including their cuisine and festivities. It's a full suite of knowledge that I can't acquire elsewhere.
10. What’s something you’d like to see change in Oakland? What do you want your contribution to that change to be?
I don't like seeing my Oakland community being pushed out due to gentrification. I want Oakland natives to stay and see more employment initiatives to conduct more job training - especially for higher level skill sets, like programming or project management. Overall I like to see my community being more involved in politics, so they can see how these bills affect us and look at how we can improve our voting power to see you know to help our community.
11. What do you appreciate about today’s technology?
I appreciate how I have the ability to connect with people, no matter the distance, and even people who I haven't seen in years. You can connect with someone by just putting their name on the search box.
12. What type of technology do you wish you had, but hasn’t been invented yet?
I’d love to have a mind-reading device that could draft out my thoughts. Think of how beneficial that would be; great ideas wouldn't go forgotten.
13. What would be your dream job? What do you want to be when you grow up?
I do not want a job that requires me to be on the computer 80% of the time. That is boring; I want something that allows me to be on my toes and interact with people.
Right now, I'm using my digital marketing skills to showcase my expertise in youth development and classroom management as a LinkedIn video creator. Overall, I would like to pursue a career in the digital marketing field. Also, I would like to volunteer for nonprofits like Hack the Hood to share my expertise in professionalism and marketing to youth in low-income communities.
Photography by Christine Cueto.
Hack the Hood Blog
News items and musings on tech inclusion, youth development, buying local and more.