The First Lady’s Reach Higher Campaign invited College Forward to attend a 3-hour hackathon at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Executive Director Austin Buchan asked Texas State first-year student Alexander Molina to be the voice for over 6,000 College Forward students.
Alex teamed up with Facebook engineers, students and teachers from across the country to design solutions that drive college graduation rates nationwide. Alex and his team of students started at the base of the problem – getting students to understand the importance of time management and accountability before entering college. The team proposed College Boot Camp, a phone-app for high school seniors that requires completion of listed daily chores and tasks.
Alex says College Boot Camp allows students to compare the demands of their high school life to future college challenges.
“Students will be ready, and know what to expect regarding the demand in work and troubleshooting [for college].”
Currently, Facebook developers are synchronizing and coding the application.
Before leaving for San Marcos, we asked Alex a few questions about his trip to California.
What was Facebook Like?
I’m from Kyle, so this was a new experience. I didn’t see myself there. Seriously, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. I mostly do local things so venturing somewhere unknown was really exciting. They had free food everywhere. A lot of the students knew each other already, but I was able to talk to teachers from the Teacher’s Guild organization about higher education for Latino students. Pretty fun.
How will you incorporate what you’ve learned in your daily student life?
I learned the importance of hacking. Hacking is where you take problem-solving ideas and turn them into action. Unlike brainstorming, you’re mostly throwing out ideas, but with Hacking you’re intensely trying to solve the problem in short amount of time. It makes you go deeper to solve the problem. This is something I’ll take back to student government next year, as a Senator. [We need] ideas that won’t get stuck in legislation, so we can work as a cohesive group and compromise.
What encouraging words do you have to share with fellow College Forward students?
Keep moving Forward. You can’t wait around to get something done. Meet people who share the same interests as you and who can help you grow. I want to continue helping people in need. As a Senator, for the next legislative session at Texas State, I plan to help focus on creating a Latino Culture Center so students can feel comfortable when seeking help. Then bring in an immigration lawyer, free of charge, for undocumented students. It’s so hard as a student to continue with classes while searching for the funds to pay lawyer fees.
In the end, I want to help my people!
It’s a great day to be a Bobcat. Eat ’em Up!
Editor’s Note: A special thanks to the love and support from the staff, friends and Texas State University, who truly believed in a student’s motivation. The Alex2FB – GoFundMe Campaign uncovered so much support we have in the community. We at College Forward appreciate your dedication to help students’ dreams come true.