Zuckerberg’s FWD.us Hackathon: My Experience

On November 2013 20 DREAMers from around the nation would come together with mentors and CEO’s in technology to come up with something that would help move the immigration reform move forward.

I was anxiously awaiting the day I would come to meet all these other DREAMers that like me were so passionate about making a difference. Not only did we have this  in common but we all faced similar obstacles when graduating from high school. We all know the feeling of living and being part of an undocumented family. Meeting them all felt like I was going to a family reunion.

Fist night there FWD.us team had a dinner ready for us at a restaurant. Very soon I felt at home and familiarized myself with the other DREAMers. Joe Green, and the rest of the FWD.US crew gave us all a very warm welcome. In the dinner they announced there was a DREAMer that wasn’t able to make it to the Hackathon because his passport had expired. This struck us all to see the harsh reality of how this broken system affects us in our everyday lives.

That same night my team and I got together to brainstorm on what it was we wanted to create since we hadn’t had the chance to speak before the event. We came to the conclusion that we wanted to create a platform where people could share their stories in a short video on how the broken system had affected them and why they supported a Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

The next day was the official day of the Hackathon where we would have to be awake for 24 hours if we could working on our projects. My team and I decided that morning that we wanted to change things up a bit. We would still build a platform where we would be able to share a story, but it would be funny. On the clips people would say why what they are doing in the clip is less crazy then not passing Immigration Reform.

We started working on our project which turned out to be a website called unheardvoices.us. On the website we plan to attract people through comedy and once they come to the site they would come across more serious and informative videos that show what the immigration reform really is and what is being done to pass it.

Right away we went around LinkedIn asking for props for our clips. Other DREAMers looked at us a bit weird because we were constantly laughing at the silly things we were coming up with. Many asked what it was we were doing because we looked too happy.

I wouldn’t change a thing from the Hackathon. It was a great opportunity to meet these wonderful people from all around the nation come together for one thing and one thing only. To push Immigration Reform in our own creative and unique ways. The Hackathon was a great success. All the teams did a great job.

Sharing My Story with the World!!

This is the other side of the story, this is who we REALLY are! We are educated students who want to help our country, create jobs, and be prosperous here. – Sarahi Espinoza