Hack the Hood believes in highlighting the young people who have brought their skills and passions to our program to inspire others. We're profiling a different young leader each month to share their journey through Hack the Hood and beyond, with Calvin being our August feature.
1. What made you decide to join Hack the Hood (HtH)? When did you start with HtH?
I found out about HtH after walking by the building. I searched it up online and learned about their coding bootcamps. I joined Hack the Hood because I wanted to gain new skills in tech. I started with Hack the Hood in February 2019 for their first 9-week Spring Bootcamp.
2. What did you learn that was unexpected? Was there anything that surprised you about the program?
I learned that tech was more than just coding and software. It’s easy to fall into the idea that tech involves a bunch of people sitting behind desks and typing their days away. However, there are many different departments. There are the design team, financial department, human resources, and so much more.
3. What has your journey post- Hack the Hood looked like?
My post-Hack the Hood journey involved plenty of job-hunting and reflecting on my goals. I eventually landed a job as a data analyst with the Surplus Lines Association of California. I have been working there for almost a year now.
4. What do you do for fun?
I like to cook and write stories. I’ve always gravitated towards these things because they involve creativity and experimenting to get the best results.
5. What are your favorite foods?
My favorite foods are tacos, noodle soup, fried chicken, and anything spicy.
6. What are three places you enjoy visiting in the Bay Area and beyond?
My favorite places in the Bay Area are Alameda Beach, the local taco truck, and my grandparent’s house.
7. Who are your top music artists?
My top artists usually change, but Ed Sheeran, J Cole, and Alicia Keys consistently remain at the top. At this moment, Lin Manuel Miranda (because of Hamilton) and Taylor Swift are pretty up there.
8. Who do you follow on Insta?
I don’t have an Instagram, which probably means I lose about 10 cool points.
9. Where’d you grow up? What do you like about the Bay Area?
I grew up in Oakland. I love the diversity in the Bay Area because it gives me the opportunity to learn about different cultures. By learning about other cultures, we expose ourselves to new ideas, practices, and knowledge that help with our growth.
10. What’s something you’d like to see change in Oakland? What do you want your contribution to that change to be?
I want to see small, local businesses thrive even in the midst of gentrification and other changes to the city. I want my contribution to be buying from and supporting local businesses by connecting them to Hack the Hood so they can expand their business online.
11. What do you appreciate about today’s technology?
I appreciate that it keeps us connected even when it’s difficult to see each other.
12. What type of technology do you wish you had but hasn’t been invented yet?
I wish there was a bullet train that connected Northern California to Southern California. People from Northern California often visit Southern California, and the same is true the other way around. Bullet trains might be a little slower than planes, but they are usually more spacious and relaxing.
13. What would be your dream job? What do you want to be when you grow up?
My dream job would be to help create stories for an animation studio. I want to be a writer someday. It isn’t a technology-based career, but technology often informs or influences the kinds of stories I write.
Photography by Christine Cueto.
Hack the Hood Blog
News items and musings on tech inclusion, youth development, buying local and more.