YTH Health Hackathon at REACH Ashland Youth Center
Powered by The Level Playing Field Institute
San Leandro, CA (East Bay, near Oakland)
April 5-6, 2014
Participants: 40 REACH Members
Goal: To teach REACH members (Alameda County students aged 11-24) the design thinking process and programming code to create tech solutions for adolescent health and wellness (dating violence, obesity/diabetes prevention, substance abuse, and sexual health).
Prizes: 1- $2,500 first prize and 1-$1,000 second prize
Background: We bridged the gap in health-tech innovation by collaborating with REACH Ashland Youth Center and the Level Playing Field Institute to convene a weekend hackathon to engage youth from communities that are under-represented and underserved in creating their own health tech solutions for adolescent wellness. The hackathon occurred on April 5th and 6th at the REACH Ashland Youth Center’s state of the art facility the weekend before YTH Live, an annual conference of over 500 youth leaders, health professionals, government officials and funders. Hackathon winners were brought to San Francisco to showcase their winning ideas at YTH Live, make connections, and secure funding.
YTH was the primary coordinator for the event. YTH provided the volunteers as well as the health tech experts and peers to frame the issues the young coders will try to solve. YTH coordinated the fundraising, communications, and live tweeting and social media during the event. YTH was responsible for connecting the hackathon to our conference, YTH Live, April 6-8th in San Francisco, by providing job openings, funding opportunities, and networking connections to the grand prize winning teams.
REACH Ashland Youth Center
REACH is a state of the art facility in unincorporated Ashland within Alameda County. It is open to all residents of Alameda County aged 11-24. REACH has programs for recreation, education, arts, career, and health & wellness (mental health, physical health and dental health) and partnerships with the County Departments of Health, Probation, Library, with local school districts, and more. Opened in June of 2013, REACH already has over 2,000 registered members, that are very diverse, including a large number of Latino and African American youth. REACH provided the facility and associated services (security, janitorial, etc.) for the Hackathon, as well as marketing and promotion to their members to recruit young people to participate.
The Level Playing Field Institute
The 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. The Level Playing Field Institute provided the tech and design thinking training for volunteers and youth participants.
We want to give a HUGE thank you to the volunteers that supported this event. Thank you for making the Health Hackathon a success!