VIP Newsletter 015


Hi and happy 2021 from Hack Club,

We start the new year with a major $500,000 gift to Hack Club from our founding board member Tom Preston-Werner and his wife Theresa, co-founder and managing director of Preston-Werner Ventures. Thank you Tom and Theresa!

This gift will help thousands more teenagers join and lead Hack Clubs for free, from anywhere in the world. Already, we are growing our team, hiring 2 more talented engineers in student-facing roles that help make Hack Club the best place on the internet for technical teenagers.*

Picture of Arianna, a Hack Club member

Arianna Martinelli, 16, leads a new Hack Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Here’s your 2-minute read on how we’re building Hack Club—sent to 92 recipients, including our major donors and friends. Thanks for this time together.

Special thanks to:

Gwynne Shotwell, COO of SpaceX, for speaking to 125 Hack Club students in November, 48 hours before she put 4 astronauts into space Alex Fishman of Empros Capital for his donation and for mailing his entire client base about Hack Club Chris Van Pelt of Weights & Biases for his generous donation
Ryan and Tessa Bone of Silver Lake Partners for their gift, and also time advising our leadership team Hack Club is a totally-free, student-led space for high school students to tinker and build with tech, make friends, and learn to code.

A Year in Review: These are Hack Club's 2020 Highlights:

  • Hack Clubbers became extremely active online: daily active students on the Hack Club Slack grew 700% after COVID
  • 500 after-school Hack Clubs (new applications in Sept 2020 during COVID were equal to 2019)
  • 40 new technical workshops for Hack Club meetings were created by Hack Club leaders teaching JavaScript, Go, Rust, 3D graphics, and CSS
  • 1,000 Hack Club teenagers attended 14 Hack Club AMAs
  • 100 free laptops/iPads distributed to Hack Clubbers in need, with girls receiving 40 percent
  • Gained 10.8k new Twitter followers
  • $1.3 million donated to support Hack Club students in 2020, including $500k from Elon Musk's foundation
  • 13 new major donors made first-time gifts to Hack Club

Hack Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and our finances are 100% transparent and available in real time.

Check out a few amazing student projects from the last month:

  • In Curitiba, Brazil, 16 year old Vitor Vavolizza, a teenage Hack Club leader, translated Hack Club’s website, and a workshop, into Portuguese for the 30 students in his club. “Most students here don't get the chance to code,” Vitor says.

  • In Washington state, high schooler Gary Tou set up LED lights inside his room that anyone on the internet could change. Gary connected a strip of NeoPixel RGBW LEDs to a Feather Huzzah ESP8266, which, using code, he connected with a Firebase database and a custom web frontend. You can change the colors of his bedroom lights right now at

  • After his neighbor fell, 16 year old John Lins of Walnut Creek, California, built “Fallen AI” a pose-detection AI built with TensorFlow.js to monitor the elderly and send notifications to their guardians in case of an emergency. With support from Hack Club, he built an email API with Go and trained a custom neural network by filming himself falling. He won 1st place in the category “most advanced” at HackTable, an online hackathon. Congrats!

  • In Louisville, Kentucky, 2 new Hack Club students, Arianna Martinelli, and her brother Lorenzo, run separate clubs but they synced up their members for a “Hack Night” event where everyone got to hang out and share their first coding projects. Check out their project page.

*“today was our last hack club meeting of 2020! we started our hack club when we went into quarantine with this crazy year and i am so glad we did! it's helped me grow as a leader and person and helped me learn so much. i am so excited to see what 2021 will look like for the world and for our club!” *

*- Risha Jhangiani, 16, Hack Club leader in Washington state

Thank you again so much to the Preston-Werners for their landmark gift, making it possible for more teenagers to have the opportunities they had as young people. We are so humbled by their support for Hack Clubbers.

Wishing you all a beautiful 2021. Thank you so much for reading and supporting us.

best, Christina

-- Christina Asquith COO and Board, Hack Club | | Donate

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