Philly Hackathon: Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs and hackathon organizer, talks to youth trailblazers about their pitches. Photos by Monica Peters.
Team Change Your Community worked feverishly in a computer lab at String Theory Charter School in Philadelphia last weekend to create an app for community good.
The youths tossed out problems, ideas for solving them, and narrowed down their options to one. Then, they got to work coding. The result: an app that allows users to take pictures of abandoned buildings and nominate them for how they should be renovated or used.
Their project took first place during the event, the first hackathon for the White House initiative My Brother’s Keeper. Team members took home Samsung Galaxy tablets and a chance to participate in a Google Hangout with #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, the hackathon’s keynote speaker. The real prize, however, is that the hackathon, held Nov. 14-16, is a step toward guiding the 95 boys and girls who participated on a trajectory to careers in technology.
“Whenever young people start to break negative patterns and start a new positive pattern you have no idea what that’s going to mean for history,” Jones said.