Trailblazers you will meet at the 2016 #MyBrothersKeeper Hackathon in Oakland

Qeyno Labs is launching the third annual My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon in Oakland from February 26 to 28th as a featured event of Tech EQuity Week, also powered by Qeyno.

Every hackathon school participant goes through a rigorous application process, from mentor to youth, who we call “Trailblazers”. Trailblazers are required to submit a video along with their application.

You can still register to be a mentor, trailblazer or volunteer at

We established this requirement as part of the entrepreneurial curriculum and rite of passage into the Qeyno experience.

Photography by Johnathon Henninger

Every applicant is given a set of instructions directly from our Headmaster CEO, Kalimah Priforce:

Give the world your best self.
Keep your hands out of your pockets.
No hats. If you have school gear or a shirt from a program or group home you belong to, wear it and represent.
Make sure the video recording is stable and not shaky.
Ask a friend, teacher, or parent to help you. You can upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or a cloud service such as Dropbox, or send it to us directly.
Be very clear and you can use a script if that helps you, but give lots of eye contact to the camera - your audience.
Tell us why our Hackathon Academy is a great opportunity for you.
Try not to use verbal fillers such as:
- Filler Sounds — e.g. um, uh, ah, mm
- Filler Words — e.g. basically, actually, literally
- Filler Phrases — e.g. “I think that”, “you know”, “what I’m trying to say is”
Remember, being nervous is natural. Take a deep breath and exhale in-between sentences if you are getting nervous.
You can use music, or your friends and family, or a funky background — as long as what you are saying is clear and that no one else in the video is speaking but you.
The best videos will be rewarded a two-minute pitch rather than a one-minute pitch during Opening Pitches. All videos are reviewed by me, so be sure to impress!
For sixty (60) seconds, you are going to be a legend. For sixty seconds, you have the world’s attention. But first you have to be magnificent.
This is when everything will change for you and you become a part of Qeyno and join the hundreds of kids we serve and the millions more who will follow in your footsteps.
You are important. You are brilliant. You are going to change the world. You are a Trailblazer.

Last year, for our 2015 My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon in Oakland, we received the following video from Storm White, who eventually went on to become the hackathon first place winner along with her teammate Jabril Sohan, a previous Qeyno hackathon participant who inspired by the hackathon, currently attends school for Information Technology.

Photography by Johnathon Henninger

With only just a week away, we have received a batch of new videos from up and coming Trailblazers excited for their first, and for some, their return, to Qeyno’s Hackathon Academy. Here are some of the Trailblazers you will meet if you happen to be a mentor, volunteer, sponsor, or member of the press at the 2016 My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon (#MBKHack):

There’s Kamori -

I wonder where she got her spin? …and then there’s Haji -

Griffin was a Trailblazer last year at #MBKHack in Oakland and submitted this entry video:

Once was not enough for Griffin, and he’ll be making a return in BEAST MODE:

This year, Griffin will be joined by Kura -

and Giselle -

and there are many more videos to share, from Chinasa -

to Nathan -

You can find more videos on our official YouTube page and Help us spread the world using our social media toolkit —

Our Trailblazers have varied interests, strengths, and backgrounds, but they all arrive as high potential youth who want the opportunity to prove themselves as Jr. Developers, Jr. Designers. and Jr. Innovators.

Meet them and many more on February 26 - 28th for the 2016 My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon - Powered by Qeyno Labs.

“You are important. You are brilliant. You are going to change the world. You are a Trailblazer.”