SLATE Partners With Hack4Hope To Bring Coding Experience To Underserved Youth

Hack4Hope's weekend long boot camp, Hackathon, will give urban youth the opportunity to be part of the St. Louis' growing IT field

July 2, 2015 | 2 min reading time

This article is 6 years old. It was published on July 2, 2015.

Hack4Hope graphic

Throughout its history, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) American Job Center (AJC) has actively pursued partnerships that encourage underserved youth to build their skills and pursue emerging careers.

SLATE's newest partnership with Hack4Hope, a joint project of ITEN and Education Exchange Corps, will give young people the opportunity to be part of the St. Louis region's rapidly growing IT field. Hack4Hope's newly created Hackathon, a weekend long boot camp, will bring together youth with adult professional IT and coding mentors to build an application that solves a real-world problem. 

This exciting new event will take place on July 10-12, at the T-Rex facility in Downtown St. Louis. A special information session will be held on July 8, from 6 to 8 pm, at SLATE, for parents and their children interested in the Hackathon. SLATE is located at 1520 Market St., 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63103. At the information session, participants will be able to complete registration and obtain further information about the upcoming camp.

Participant Requirements:

  • Middle to High school student (7th to 12th grades)
  • Interest in coding and IT fields (no previous coding or IT experience necessary)
  • Ability to attend the entire weekend
  • Computer literate

The camp will host up to 50 participants who will have a chance to win a free tablet, but most importantly, according to Alice Prince, Manager of SLATE's Young Adult Workforce Division, they will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"We're doing our best for urban young people interested in IT to give them the experience needed to get internships, go to colleges and get IT scholarships, and, hopefully, be able to work for the companies that are now coming in and expanding in St. Louis," Prince said.

To bring Hackathon to St. Louis' youth, SLATE is working with numerous local partners, especially native St. Louisan Nicole Franklin, head of EPIPHANY Inc., a New Jersey film and digital media company that brings talented youth into the spotlight.

Franklin anticipates that the apps created during the camp will not be abstract, but specific solutions to local needs. "For example, youth could harness today's technology to encourage and promote fruit vendors, a once common sight in St. Louis, and reestablish them in their own neighborhood," she said.

Franklin emphasizes that the Hack4Hope experience will not end with the Hackathon, but rather will continue through to the Hack4Hope six-month academy. "In this way, youth will be able to continue to work on their ideas, explore technology and create tangible career pathways," she said.

Prince added that all those interested in coding and IT, including participants enrolled in Stl Youth Jobs, the City's summer employment program, are invited to participate in the coding camp. Those who successfully complete their weekend-long experience will be positioned to build their skill set through IT-related summer work experiences.

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