The Links, Incorporated, Greater Miami Chapter recently hosted its second annual Get Linked: Miami Youth Hackathon (#getlinkedhack), an innovative one-day youth hackathon for minority students in the 6th – 10th grade from Miami-Dade County. Facilitated by Code Fever Miami, the April 30 event culminated the activities for the Spring 2016 Cohort of the Get Linked STEM Academy, which also included a two-hour game development workshop at the Microsoft Store in Aventura Mall.

The overall purpose of the Get Linked STEM Academy and Miami Youth Hackathon is to expose students to the real world possibilities of learning to code while introducing them to the various career opportunities available in the field of technology and innovation.

The hackathon kicked off in the morning with a powerful presentation that demonstrated the vast amount of opportunities within technology and innovation; including sharing the eyeopening net worth of tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg and entertainers like rap mogul and businessman, JayZ.

“It’s so rewarding to see the impact this event is able to have on the lives of these students. It’s clear that they are all walking away knowing that it is completely possible for them to become the next great tech entrepreneur or STEM industry leader,” said LaToya Stirrup, chair of the Get Linked STEM Academy.

Throughout the day, Code Fever guided the students through the HTML coding process and assisted them with creating a pitch deck in Microsoft PowerPoint. For many of the students, this marked their first time being introduced to coding and PowerPoint.

At the end of the day, the students were able to pitch their business concept to their peers and a panel of three judges. Each business concept needed to have a product or service offering, revenue model and company website. At the end of the pitch, three winners were chosen and all student attendees walked away with a Certificate of Completion from the Get Linked STEM Academy – Miami Youth Hackathon and swag bags.

“The Hackathon was a wonderful experience providing these students with an opportunity to explore technology beyond just playing games. It gave them exposure – on the how to make it and market it – as consumers and entrepreneurs,” said Vandra Gordon Woolfolk, Greater Miami Chapter President.