LPFI Hosts Social Impact Hackathon for Underrepresented Students in Tech
The winning team creates an app for students to give feedback to their teachers
(San Francisco) Yesterday, the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) concluded its “Level the Coding Field” hackathon, a two-day event designed to expose underrepresented students of color to computer science and to promote production rather than just consumption of technology. Students from across Northern California came together to learn how to develop their own apps and compete for prizes, including college scholarships.
The winning team, Limitless, designed an app that creates a channel for students to give constructive feedback to teachers about the clarity and complexity of the day’s lesson. Each member of the winning team (Dezja Sabree, Gabrielle Henry, Thomas Flores, Maanasa Kotha, and Samson Afeworki) received a $500 college scholarship. Each member of the second place team received a $150 scholarship.
In her remarks to the hackathon participants, LPFI Director of Programs Danielle Rose noted, “You should be extremely proud of yourselves and feel empowered for taking this step to do something most of you have never done before. Knowing how to code and build an app are tools that you can continue to sharpen and positions you influence the world in so many ways.”
Volunteers from more than a dozen of tech’s leading companies served as mentors and judges as students create apps to address issues like education, the environment and more.
The event was hosted at San Francisco-based tech company Twilio and was sponsored by the Kapor Center for Social Impact, AT&T, UC Davis, Ford Motor Company, SAP and Airbnb.
Level Playing Field Institute is an Oakland-based nonprofit committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation. In addition to hackathons, LPFI runs SMASH Academy, a free of cost, STEM-intensive, college preparatory program for underrepresented high students of color.
“In this room today, I see the future of tech,” said event emcee James Sarria, the site director of SMASH Stanford. “I see the designers, engineers, and software developers that will be the engine of innovation. The future I see isn’t decades away. It is just days away. Some of the apps that you have designed over the last two days, have the potential to change the world.”
Founded in 2001 by Freada Kapor Klein, Level Playing Field Institute is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.