The Power of Mentorship

At Hack the Hood our goal is to create a community of care that supports early-career Black, Latinx, AAPI, and Indigenous talent in their tech career journeys. One of the most powerful ways we do this is by matching our young people with mentors they can identify with and who can be a champion, coach, and trusted industry connection as they pursue their career journeys.

Justin Curry attended a Hack the Hood program in the Spring of 2018. He shared, “My Hack the Hood experience means the world to me, it means overcoming barriers and obstacles that weren’t meant to be hurdled and doing it not by myself but with a community that loves and gives back.” After leaving Hack the Hood, Justin went on to win a scholarship to attend a General Assembly Software Engineering bootcamp, land an internship at Cruise Automation, and now works as a Software Engineer at Everlane. “Hack the Hood always put me in a position to succeed, whether it was helping me write a resume, making sure I was in the know on scholarships for tech bootcamps, and even helping me land an internship.” Now, Justin gives back as a Hack the Hood mentor, ensuring that more young talent like him receive the same care and support that he did.

When we matched Justin with his mentee Austin, the communication and connection flowed from the start. Austin attended a Hack the Hood bootcamp in 2017. He’s currently an engineering student at San Jose State and continues to build his coding skills by doing volunteer web development for the small business he supported during his Hack the Hood program. Earlier this year, Austin was focused on finding a summer internship and signed-up for Hack the Hood’s Spring career mentorship program to receive support.

Justin helped Austin create a roadmap and daily goals for increasing his coding skills, shared what it’s like to work as a full-time software engineer, directed Austin to free resources for learning, reviewed valuable communication and collaboration skills, and provided support as Austin interviewed for internships. Austin shared, “I really liked the casual tone of our conversation. Justin allowed me to ask really in depth questions that were fundamental for him but new to me. I felt comfortable asking a lot of questions because Justin’s been in my situation before. He knew what I was feeling.”

Now, Austin is in the middle of his summer internship at HCL Technologies. He and Justin continue to meet regularly even though their official mentorship program has ended. Reflecting on his experience as a mentor, Justin shared that he got just as much from it as he gave. He was surprised to find it helped build his own confidence in his skills and abilities as a second year software engineer.

Together, Justin and Austin remind us of the power of community and what our young people can achieve when they have the right champions behind them.

Interested in lending your tech skills and experience to become a mentor like Justin? Sign up here to be considered for the next round of mentorship opportunities. We’d love to welcome you to the Hack the Hood community.

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We are committed to economic mobility for Black, Latinx, AAPI and Indigenous communities through tech and data literacy empowerment.