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 Walter being our February feature.
1. What made you decide to join Hack the Hood (HtH)? When did you start with HtH?
I initially joined Hack the Hood in the spring of 2017. I learned about the organization from a tech workshop that was happening at my school. I decided on joining Hack the Hood because it seemed like a good opportunity to try something new and learn new things and meet new people and I always want to learn how to code and understand how software works on the backend. I first joined their Tech Prep Coding and then after that class, I signed up for Hack the Hood bootcamp. It was pretty fun because we made websites and play with different programs and it was really cool. I would definitely do it again.
2. What did you learn that was unexpected? Was there anything that surprised you about the program?I learned that there are multiple ways to solve a coding problem. What really surprised me was how easy it was to create websites in the class, using Weebly. It was a great introduction to learning about web design.
3. What has your journey post- Hack the Hood looked like?
My journey has been a bit tough. College didn’t really work out and I couldn’t be on the debate team and wrestling team due to some unfortunate circumstances. So I joined the Navy a few months ago. I recently completed boot camp and made a lot of connections there. It was fun. Now, I about to head to Japan for my deployment and I’m hoping I get to see all the amazing food, anime, and video games while I’m there.
4. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing video games, I debate, and I also play and coach wrestling. I started wrestling in middle school and I have wrestled for 10 years. I have been debating for 5 years and I started in high school, during my sophomore year.
5. What are your favorite foods?
My favorite foods are pizza, chicken curry, and lasagna.
6. What are three places you enjoy visiting in the Bay Area and beyond?
I enjoy visiting Arkansas and San Francisco. Arkansas is such a beautiful place and there are a lot of cool landmarks - like the Buffalo National River. It is such a beautiful sight to behold. As for San Francisco, there is a lot of technology all around the city. Hanging out at the beaches in San Francisco is pretty cool. There are also a lot of gaming companies in San Francisco that have created some of my favorite games.
7. Who are your top music artists?
My top music artists are Black Veil Brides, Halsey, Ellie Goulding, and Post Malone.
8. Who do you follow on Insta?
I only follow people I know and a few famous people on Instagram, like Halsey, Post Malone, and Ellie Goulding.
9. Where’d you grow up? What do you like about the Bay Area?
I was born in Oakland but I grew up in both Oakland and Sacramento. The one thing I like about the Bay Area is that there is a lot of diversity in the population and in the restaurants around the Bay Area.
10. What’s something you’d like to see change in Oakland? What do you want your contribution to that change to be?
I would like to see these empty buildings being used to help out the young people and get them off these streets. I would love to contribute by trying to buy some of these properties and turning them into something that benefits the young people in our community.
11. What do you appreciate about today’s technology?
I appreciate that today’s technology makes things more accessible. For example, smartphones make it so easy to connect with your friends and meet up. Also, it makes it so you don’t really have to do a lot to get the thing you need done, like how Uber has Uber eats that is an app that gets food delivered to you.
12. What type of technology do you wish you had but hasn’t been invented yet?
I wish I had a flying car because it seems like fun.
13. What would be your dream job? What do you want to be when you grow up?
My dream job would be to own my own gaming company, making MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing games) and VR games.
Photography by Christine Cueto.
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