By Moises Mendoza
HackCville is a member-run and member-supported clubhouse home to designers, programmers, entrepreneurs, and those with creatives minds with an aim in bringing together a curious, hard-working, and most of all driven group of individuals in order to empower one another to get our personal ideas started and off the ground. From training students on a wide variety of entrepreneurship and professional skills to connecting them with jobs, this clubhouse aims in supporting student’s educational and career development by providing them with numerous personal and career growth opportunities. I originally joined HackCville as a member of the “Spark” program, their 10-week program focusing on education entrepreneurship and how we may innovate education in the future. During my time in the “Spark” program my peers and I were challenged to use our critical and design thinking to solve real world problems in education. This program resulted in me working on a startup that aims in connecting secondary school students to STEM and pre-college resources, such as summer camps and scholarships, in hopes of empowering them to go to college and pursue their STEM related career goals/dreams. I love the HackCville community because you’re given the opportunity to either learn completely new things, dive deeper into a passion you already have, and/or work alongside other highly motivated individuals to get your projects, non-profits, research, and ideas to the next level. This was one of the first involvements that empowered me as a UVA student because initially I would question whether or not I really belonged at this university due to its competitive environment. HackCville made me realize that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and I shouldn’t compare myself to my peers, instead I should focus on myself and the things I want to pursue.