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Team Creates Attendance App to Win HT Inaugural Hackathon

An Inaugural <div> hackathon by MVMT50 at SXSW, presented by PayPal and powered by Qeyno Labs, took place on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon Street, Saturday through Sunday, March 14-15, 2015. The hackathon was the first-ever youth and diversity focused hackathon at SXSW.  A hackathon is a collaborative event where individuals meet and engage in solving a problem to impact social good.

The Super 8 team created an app, titled “Pipeline” that utilized a mathematical formula to equate classroom attendance with longevity to win the competition.  The app addressed the school-to-prison issue.

Through community partnerships, MVMT50 provided 50 phenomenal high school and college students, a safe environment, mentors, and the technological tools needed to solve local community problems through designing and building apps. The all-day, two-day hackathon was free to participating youth and to adult professionals seeking to be their mentors.

The 50-selected students were paired with professional mentors to collaborate and build a web or mobile-based app hacking the Education, Health, or Justice sectors. The Justice Track seeks solutions related to balancing the scales of justice for marginalized people of color. This track focused on strategies empowering ex-offenders to make successful transitions to fully-contributing members of society. The Health Track focused on issues related to improving the experience and health care options available to people of color. Additionally, this track focused on solutions for increasing diversity in the medical profession. The Education Track addressed issues related to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline system, college readiness, acceptance and completion and career guidance for minority students.

A majority of the selected students, referred to as Trailblazers, included black, Latino/a, Native-American, and under-represented Asian and Pacific Islanders. Trailblazers spent two days on teams working alongside adult professionals supporting the students as they built websites and mobile apps that positively impact their community and improve their life outcome.

Autumn Caviness, Director of the <div> hackathon and HT’s Assistant Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program, viewed “this Inaugural <div> hackathon as serving as an information conduit for talented students to diversity in the technology space. We wanted our target students to understand that they could be more than consumers of technology; they too could be creators, innovators, and disruptors of today’s technology.” At the end of the Inaugural <div> hackathon, participants walked away with a sense of accomplishment, inspired by experiencing what is possible when brilliant people get together to solve problems.


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About MVMT50

MVMT50 is a coalition of Black tech thought leaders who gather annually during SXSW Interactive to highlight the impact African Americans have in shaping innovation. Facebook, Twitter: @mvmt50

About Qeyno Labs

Qeyno is the leading provider of inclusive hackathons guiding high potential youth in low opportunity settings into STEM career pathways. Using coding literacy, art, and mentorship, Qeyno leads the way in playful learning experiences that make “hackathon” a household word in every home and is committed to lifting innovation in every community., Facebook, Twitter: @qeyno

About PayPal

At PayPal, we put people at the center of everything we do. Founded in 1998, we created an open and secure payments ecosystem that empowers people and businesses to securely transact with each other online, in stores and on mobile devices. We believe technology creates more opportunities. And we’re committed to inclusion and opportunity inside our company as well. Diversity matters. It makes us stronger, and makes us better. For more information about PayPal, please visit

About Huston-Tillotson University

As a historically black institution, Huston-Tillotson University’s mission is to provide opportunities to a diverse population for academic achievement with an emphasis on academic excellence, spiritual and ethical development, civic engagement, and leadership in a nurturing environment. The University offers associate and master’s degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 20 areas of study. Visit Huston-Tillotson University online at