Our First-Ever ‘1000DreamsHack’ Hackathon With Amazon Games and Twitch Had All the Secret Sauce!

“Never give up.”

“You’ll never really be perfectly ready; accept that and go for it anyway!”

“Don’t be afraid to rely on others and ask for help.”

“Take opportunities that come your way; you are worth it.”

These are just a few soundbites from the savvy group of young women who participated in the 1,000 Dreams Fund’s first-ever ‘1000DreamsHack’ all-girls hackathon, sponsored by Amazon Games and Twitch, at Yale University with support from Yale student group, BulldogHacks.

We were so thrilled to have like-minded young women in STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts and math), many of whom were provided critical travel grants to participate from 1DF thanks to Amazon Games, along with leading mentors come together for a full day of learning and coding fun while celebrating diversity and inclusion in tech.

So what did we do that day and how does a hackathon really work? Read on for the full recap of this unforgettable event!

1DF founder Christie Garton kicked off the day with a keynote address before the real hack work began.

1DF founder Christie Garton

Following Christie, the entire Amazon Games and Twitch teams who traveled all the way from the West Coast to mentor our students took their turn on the stage, providing a crash-course lesson on Twitch extensions, coding and more! Students learned what it takes to develop innovative new tools to make the popular streaming site, Twitch, better for streamers and viewers.

 

Judges and mentors from Amazon and Twitch

Next, the teams were announced, and the students got to work!

Team “Customized Avatars” included Brontë Johnson, Emma Sophia Pagtakhan, Sook-Hee Evanns, and Megan St. Hilaire.

Team “Customized Avatars” included Brontë Johnson, Emma Sophia Pagtakhan, Sook-Hee Evanns, and Megan St. Hilaire.

We love the advice offered by our winning team that included Saron Ghebremariam, Bethelehm Asres, Samantha Alves, and Jennifer Lee; you can listen in here.

Their “winning hack” was named “Bar Fight” in which viewers on Twitch would be able to “fight” on their “beef” in video games. Essentially, by using their vote via the extension they would be able to show their support for their chosen team, topic, or stance while watching a streamer.

We also loved hearing from another participant, Te’aswnan Garris, a Management Information Systems Major with a Minor in Entrepreneurship at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Check out how her experience at 1000DreamsHack has already helped her.

Twitch Prime software engineer Nicolas Kuhn de Chizelle agrees that providing experiences like the 1000DreamsHack for women is crucial because it is “giving people an opportunity to grow and giving them a path forward to realize their true potential.” We couldn’t agree more!

@SomaGreen (she has 39K+ followers; wow!) was so kind to stream some of the event for us while talking with the judges and participants as well as offering words of wisdom about her experience as a woman in tech. You can check out her full stream here.

Everyone left with a wealth of experience, fantastic memories, friends and connections. We can’t wait to see you at our NEXT #1000DreamsHack hackathon event!

(left) Team “Chat Cloud” Allison Ashby, Patrycja Gorska, Michelle Bautista, and Amanda Mickowski; (right); Team “Viewer Map” Xin Ying Weng, Mari Rooney, Chen Chen, and Hannah Nguyen

Learn more about 1000DreamsHack here.