Hack the Hood

Training and uplifting communities of color through tech skill-building programs and career navigation support that ensures economic mobility.

aka Hack the Hood   |   Oakland, CA   |

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Hack the Hood (HtH) is an Oakland, CA-based nonprofit organization that provides Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and AAPI youth with tech skill-building programs and career navigation support that are grounded in justice and support economic development and growth.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Terrence Riley

Main address

2323 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

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Formerly known as

Center for Medica Change Inc.



NTEE code info

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hack the Hood connects low-income young people of color and local small businesses through technology, in order to create opportunities for all the people who live in the Bay Area, and beyond, to take part in and lead the change that is happening around them.
Our programs model the change we wish to see in the world, equipping youth with a toolbox of skills, confidence, and connections to help them flourish in any career that they choose and support partners in doing this work.
Hack the Hood's programs are geared to low-income youth of color ages 16-25 whom are under-represented in the Tech industry and who face significant barriers. Examples of barriers include poverty, racial bias, history of trauma or experiencing/witnessing violence, attending schools with limited funding and opportunities, involvement in the foster care system, lack of mentorship or professional role models, and low-levels of general economic opportunities in their community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

hustle: Tech Foundations

Hustle provides an introduction to foundational tech skills and career pathways at Hack the Hood. This program teaches the fundamentals of Python, and core skills in software development, and gives a primary understanding of data types and class structures while sharpening collaborative skills. The Hustle program balances lectures, career exposure panels with industry professionals, peer-to-peer learning, video tutorials, and workshops that help youth begin to see themselves in tech. To bring learner's new skills to life, our unique #Tech4Justice curriculum helps ground their technical learning in current social justice topics and helps them explore how to build solutions to social problems using technology. A $250 learning stipend and free laptop are provided to support learners' journey. No prior tech knowledge is required for this program.

Population(s) Served

Learners leverage their Python skills to learn about data science and how to identify, solve, and answer problems using data. This program is for Hustle program alumni and learners with existing programming skills in Python from self-learning, AP CS courses, or other coding programs. Build is designed to expose learners to the data science process and help advance their skills in this critical area of technology. The Build program balances lectures, career exposure panels with industry professionals, peer-to-peer learning, video tutorials, and workshops that will help learners see themselves in tech. Our unique #Tech4Justice curriculum helps ground technical learning in current social justice topics and empowers youth to explore how to build solutions to social problems using technology. This project also contributes to learners' tech portfolio to show off their skills to potential employers. A $250 stipend and a free laptop are provided to support learners.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants
At-risk youth
Ethnic and racial groups
LGBTQ people

This exciting and intensive year-long program is designed to help learners secure a Certificate of Achievement in Data Science, get internship-ready, and navigate their career pathway in tech. Learners will be supported with a free laptop, a $400 monthly learning stipend, mentorship, monthly career development workshops, a community of support, and opportunities for bonus payments! The Drive program is a hybrid of Hack the Hood's Tech for Justice curriculum, technical content, career pathway exposure and development, and Laney College College courses. The Drive program brings learners up to speed with an introduction or continuation of their existing programming skills in Python, exposes them to the data science process, and helps advance their skills in critical areas of technology. From beginning to end, the Hack the Hood team and our partners at Laney support learners to enroll in Laney college, understand and complete the FAFSA, and persist toward their goals.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Ethnic and racial groups
Women and girls
Men and boys
At-risk youth

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Technology skills and literacy are fundamental to professional success in the 21st century, yet our school system has failed to equip young low-income 16 to 24 years old youth of color, and especially foster youth, with the skills and knowledge they'll need to enter careers in the tech industry, or technology roles in other industries.
Hack the Hood started in 2012 when we received Google Ventures funding for a pilot program to engage adult volunteers to improve the web presence of 75 small, local businesses in low-income neighborhoods. In 2013, we launched our first 6-week summer boot camp for youth with a three-year grant secured from the City of Oakland. In that first summer, 18 youth built 65 websites for small businesses. We applied for the 2014 Google Bay Area Impact Challenge and were selected as a finalist out of 1,000 applicants, and ultimately as a winner of the online voting challenge which drew almost 200,000 voters from around the globe, resulting in a $500,000 award from Google.

The highly visible Google Challenge springboarded Hack the Hood's efforts to codify and replicate our bootcamp model in partnership with on-the-ground partners outside of Oakland. In 2015 we piloted our train-the-trainer model with 3 partners who replicated our bootcamp in their communities: Richmond, East Palo Alto, and Watsonville, CA. In 2016, we expanded our train the trainer footprint across Northern California, working with 10 organizations to replicate Hack the Hood bootcamps in San Francisco, East Palo Alto, San Jose, Gilroy, Merced, Modesto, and Watsonville. Partners included: TeenForce and Silicon Valley Children's Fund, Project YES, Empower, Digital NEST, Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, Collective Impact, and the Vietnamese Youth Development Center. In the Fall of 2016 we launched the pilot of our year-round Membership program, and starting in 2017, we will start to distribute the year-round model through the same network of partners.

To date, Hack the Hood bootcamps and workshops have trained over 600 youth to build websites for over 650 small local businesses. Our evaluation framework was designed by Rockman Associates and Public Profit to measure program engagement and effectiveness of our model in changing education and career outcomes for youth. We measure six specific areas of youth achievement and development:
Mastery of technical and soft skills
Success in professional environments
Confidence and efficacy of control, including goal-setting
Persistence in education and training,
Increase in income
Navigational capital: ability to network and navigate the tech ecosystem.

We use the following strategies:

1) Real-world, project-based learning - in our bootcamps, youth build actual websites for small business owners in their community, then go on to study coding, digital marketing, and social entrepreneurship before moving into college, an alternative certification program, or a job.

2) Culturally-competent curriculum and staff with high engagement with youth: 92% of all enrolled youth complete our programs.,

3) Career Exposure- we introduce youth to tech professionals working at top tech companies, as well as taking youth to company campuses so they can witness first hand the work environment and provide internships/apprenticeships and coaching

4) Coaching and Career Development: Bootcamp participants continue to work with Hack the Hood to pursue their educational and career goals after graduation. We are developing an online community, advanced skills workshops and leadership development, networking and career exposure events, group and individual learning projects, career coaching, case management, and application assistance and placement in jobs, internships, higher education, and vocational training programs.
5) Life support: Especially for youth ages 18-25, life can have challenges that deflect focus from work and learning. Our case manager can support and refer the youth experiencing sudden homelessness, food instability, emotional issues and therapy.

Many tech-inclusion programs provide fun enrichment-level dosage (hackathons, week-long camps) to middle-class youth of color or girls who are already on the path to college. Hack the Hood is built from the ground up to meet the intense needs of Low-Income Youth of Color, including a high percentage of youth who have experienced violence, systemic racism, and other forms of trauma. Our approach is holistic, rooted in community, relationship-driven, and trauma-informed. We follow youth development principles, draw on both the local business and tech communities to provide opportunities and inspiration for youth. We offer real experiences, and youth develop real portfolios. We sustain contact with youth for years after they graduate to provide advanced training, referrals, coaching, mentoring, moral support, and community- whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals.

Our process is also innovative. We have commissioned User Centered Design Research to ensure our approach is well matched to the needs of our youth and we use the Community Cultural Wealth framework to guide our approach. Our organization very much resembles a start-up culture where we pilot, test, and iterate our program design to arrive at the best possible solution to meet the ever-evolving landscape of our youths' needs. Finally, our approach to scaling is somewhat unique in that we partner intensely with existing on-the-ground partners who get training, curriculum, technical assistance, marketing support, evaluation services, and funding from us to replicate our program. This means that local relationships, knowledge, and expertise always inform each implementation of our bootcamp.
The Hack the Hood approach, programs and community are having a positive and powerful impact on the young people and the small business communities that we work with. Going forward we see our mission evolving to not only support young people in the Bay area and nearby, but to also provide a program and framework so the Hack the Hood bootcamp can have a transformative impact on more youth.

Since 2014, we have worked with more than 500 youth ages 16-25 in in-depth programs, and served more than 550 small business owners, many on the other side of the digital divide as well. We have scaled to work with 9 partners in 5 cities other than Oakland (San Francisco , Modesto, Merced, East Palo Alto, San Jose, Watsonville, Richmond), and have created strong pathways for our participants to move from our Bootcamps into other classes and programs we offer, along with individualized 1:1 coaching and support. Since January 2017, 344 youth have been served across 22 programs in Oakland and with 6 partners in San Francisco (Collective Impact, Bayview-Hunter's Point YMCA), San Jose (Teenforce), East Palo Alto (Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula), Modesto (Project YES) and Merced (Empower).
Technical Skills
Students were asked to rate their level of skill & knowledge related to website building, principles of web design, coding languages.
90% increased skill in building websites
88% increased knowledge of web design principles
78% increased knowledge of coding languages

Professional Skills
Students were asked to rate their level of skill & knowledge related to time and project management, communication, conducting meetings, and public speaking.
70% reported increased skills in writing professional emails
67% reported increased skills in speaking with a business partner
65% reported increased skills in communicating to a broad audience

Preparation for Job in Tech Industry
Students were asked to rate their level of knowledge, confidence and ability preparing for a job in the tech industry, interest working in the tech industry, and pathways in tech industry.
72% reported increased confidence working in the tech industry
68% reported increased knowledge of types of jobs in the tech industry
63% increased ability to prepare for a job or internship interview in the tech industry

Navigational & Oppositional Capital
Students were asked to rate their level of knowledge, comfort, and skill related to code switching, navigating different environments, recognizing and effectively dealing with discrimination, and diversity issues in the tech industry.
58% reported increased knowledge of diversity issues in the tech industry
57% reported increased knowledge of discriminatory practices & behaviors, such as microaggressions
51% reported increased knowledge of code switching

Social Capital
Students were asked to rate their level of connections to peers, family, supervisors, other adults, small business owners, people in the tech industry, and networking.
75% reported knowing more people with tech jobs than they knew before bootcamp
61% reported using LinkedIn to meet potential employers more than they did before bootcamp
62% reported more confidence in professional networking settings than they did before bootcamp

> 83% of our participants remain in or enroll in school; 60% continue to remain involved with our programs after an initial exposure

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Hack the Hood

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Hack the Hood

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jing Zhang

Senior Advisor, The Value Reporting Foundation

Ken Sorey

National Laboratory of Education Transformation

Luther Jackson

NOVA Workforce

Patrice Berry

End Poverty in CA

Tanya Caragol


Gabriel Castillo


Lucia Moritz

Oakland Unified School District

Jessica Ponce

Kamal Shah

FootNotes, Inc.

Sivan Levaton

Kapor Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/22/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/12/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.