Hack Reactor, Twitter and BAVC Announce "Level the Field" Scholarship

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Hack Reactor and Twitter create new scholarships to help San Francisco residents learn specialized programming skills with support from non-profit Bay Area Video Coalition

Three groups level the playing field for those wanting to learn advanced programming with first scholarship awarded to Ms. Xianhui Feng for 12-week intensive training at Hack Reactor.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. April 16, 2014 – Hack Reactor, the immersive JavaScript-focused coding academy, together with Twitter and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) today announced the award of a new 12-week intensive training scholarship given to local San Francisco BAVC programming student Ms. Xianhui Feng.

Xianhui, a resident of Ingleside and current participant in BAVC's Bridges career readiness program for young adults, was encouraged to apply to the scholarship by Amy Li, her peer mentor in the program.

This new scholarship, called “Level the Field” was created by the founders at Hack Reactor working with Caroline Barlerin of the Twitter for Good program. Two annual scholarships will be guided and administered through BAVC, a local non-profit organization that will locate and recommend candidates each year.

The scholarships will be granted to individuals residing in San Francisco, with preference given to candidates living in the Tenderloin District (San Francisco District 8). Candidates must apply and be accepted to Hack Reactor, which requires some basic coding experience and the motivation for self study during a pre-course period.The goal of this innovative annual program is to level the playing field for San Francisco residents who want to advance their programming skills but who may not have access to specialized training.

Twitter is funding 80% of the $17,780 scholarship with Hack Reactor funding the balance. BAVC is conducting outreach for candidates and providing eight months of post-training support with an in-house career specialist, who will provide assistance with soft skills-readiness plus one-on-one career counseling and job/internship assistance.

Quotes from Hack Reactor, Shawn Drost, cofounder

  • “Hack Reactor is a mission-driven organization and educational access is near and dear to our hearts.  We’re excited to have found two great organizations and put together a program that is strengthening ties between our organizations and the community where we all live and work.”

  • “Xianhui taught herself enough to get some light contract work, and she immediately turned around and started tutoring others at BAVC.  We’re so happy to have her in the school.  Today was her first day of class and we shared an earth-shattering high five.”

Quotes from Twitter for Good, Caroline Barlerin, head of Twitter's community outreach and philanthropy programs

  • “We are excited to be partnering with HackReactor and BAVC to accelerate students’ learning about programming. Our goal is to help break down barriers underserved kids face to make technology—and career options—more accessible.”

Quotes from BAVC, Carol Varney, executive director

  • “BAVC's mission is to inspire social change by empowering media makers to develop and share diverse stories through art, education and technology. By partnering with Hack Reactor, we are able to offer advanced tech training to individuals who would not otherwise be able to participate.”

  • “The career support Xianhui will receive from BAVC, combined with the training from Hack Reactor, will help her to compete for jobs that would have previously been out of reach. BAVC and Hack Reactor together will help with both building Xianhui's personal network and her tech skills. With this training, Xianhui will be able to reduce the barriers to meaningful employment as a programmer.”

  • “The long term vision for this scholarship is to inspire the tech industry to be more inclusive of Bay Area residents from diverse communities. By supporting expanded training pathways and hiring practices we can collectively create a rich, local ecosystem that truly nurtures educational and creative opportunities.”

Media Contacts:
Elise Gipe, Hack Reactor.
Caroline Barlerin, Twitter for Good.
Matt Sussman, Communications Manager, BAVC. Tel: 415-558-2196

Backgrounder and photos available on request from Hack Reactor.

About Twitter for Good
Our mission is to reflect and augment the positive power of Twitter as a real-time public platform for the open exchange of information. Twitter for Good does this through civic engagement, volunteerism and charitable contributions. In these ways, our company can foster greater understanding, equality, and opportunity in the cities and countries where we operate. Visit:

About Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)
BAVC manages a large portion of TechSF, an initiative funded by the Department of Labor that offers assessment, training, and internship/job placement assistance in high growth IT occupations. Areas of focus include networking, tech support, programming, mobile development and multimedia, in order to prepare San Francisco and Bay Area residents for re-entry into the Information Technology industry. TechSF also provides opportunities and support to freelancers through Gig Union. Visit: TechSF at BAVC

About Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor’s mission is two-fold: to empower people and to transform education through rapid-iteration teaching. Hack Reactor designs and conducts advanced immersion education programs that train students 11 hours per day, 6 days a week, over 12 weeks. Our curriculum cultivates mastery of computer science fundamentals and the JavaScript programming language. The Hack Reactor network of technology schools educates more software engineers every year than Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology, combined. Hack Reactor maintains a 99% employment rate and a median graduate salary of $110,000. Alumni work in a variety of mid- to senior-level engineering roles at industry leaders like Google, Adobe, LinkedIn, Uber and Amazon, as well as at several growing technology companies. For more information, visit:

Media Inquiries

Rachel Rocero
Hack Reactor
(415) 961-2412