300 South LA kids learn coding and app development to solve community issues

Published on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 14:02

PawAlert, an app to help find lost pets, takes first place at Hustle N’ Code Hackathon

LOS ANGELES - On Saturday, December 3, Teens Exploring Technology (TXT) hosted the Hustle N’ Code Hackathon at the South Park Recreation Center. A total of 300 disadvantaged South LA youth formed teams to learn about coding and app development in a fun and fast-paced environment.

The first place team created PawAlert, an app to help find lost pets. Students Have A Voice won second place for their platform to help students speak out about the top problems at their schools. Third place went to the app Schoop, an Uber for students. The Hustle N’ Code Hackathon was created in 2012 to inspire low-income students in South LA to innovate and solve problems with computer science. 

“The turnout at the 4th Hustle N’ Code Hackathon was incredible,” said Oscar Menjivar, Founder and CEO of Teens Exploring Technology. “The students had a great time and we discovered so much tech talent in our community. It’s clear that there is a real hunger for high-quality computer science education in South Los Angeles. We also want to thank our sponsors including Tinder, Frieda C. Fox Foundation, Google and Bel Air Internet. These companies are at the forefront of bridging the digital divide and making sure that no student is left behind.”

“Diversity is more than a word in Los Angeles — it defines how we live and speaks to how we think — which is why we work every day to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone in our City,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We are proud to partner with organizations like TXT that are breaking down barriers by connecting smart, hard-working young people — of every color, gender, and socioeconomic background — with companies that need their brainpower.”

“I am so impressed by the hundreds of hardworking South LA students who came to Hustle N’ Code to learn computer science,” said Councilmember Curren Price Jr. “Each student had great ideas for how to improve their community with technology. We must continue fighting to ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy—regardless of their race, school or zip code.”

“Companies like Tinder are built through the incredible talent and hard work of employees who can code, build businesses, and solve problems. The Hustle N’ Code Hackathon is a prominent event for equipping underserved students with these skills,” said Sean Rad, Tinder CEO. “We are proud sponsors of Hustle N’ Code because we have seen firsthand that TXT is training the next generation of great creators and innovators in South Los Angeles.”

“We were simply amazed by the apps created by Hustle N’ Code’s young innovators on our network,” said Bel Air Internet CEO Terry Koosed. “Bel Air Internet was proud to be part of this inspiring event supporting STEM education in South Los Angeles."

View photos of the 2016 Hustle N' Code Hackathon. 

About TXT: Teens Exploring Technology

TXT: Teens Exploring Technology encourages young men of color to become catalysts of change in low-income communities. We use technology to promote positive youth development, build confidence, develop leadership skills, encourage entrepreneurship and ultimately, pave the way to higher education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We are the premier technology organization developing teens from South Los Angeles, Watts, and Compton into a new generation of innovators and technology leaders.