Six education nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee have received free "tech support" as part of the 2020 Hack for the Community, a volunteer program powered by HCA Healthcare and Greater Nashville Technology Council.
The program recently brought together Nashville's best software developers and visual designers to create technology solutions for local nonprofits, including in the education sector.
Many of those organizations might not otherwise have been able to afford the mission-enhancing IT services that were delivered free of charge as part of the Hack program.
The program’s assistance comes at a crucial time when the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Middle Tennessee's education system, and there are fears that students who were already struggling before COVID will now fall even further behind.
Education-related nonprofits that benefited from Hack this year included:
- Homework Hotline (Since 1990, has provided over 550,000 one-on-one free tutoring sessions for K-12 students in Tennessee.) Hack developed a web application to automate reporting that will save staff valuable time and improve their ability to share key impact metrics.
- Teach for America (Recruits outstanding educators to teach for two years in low-income communities.) Hack developed a website that allows parents to register their child for summer school and enables TFA staff to communicate with parents by text message, improving communications and student attendance.
- Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee (Delivers K-12 programs fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.) Hack digitized students' pre- and post-assessment process to make scoring more efficient and allow staff to better analyze the impact of the BizTown program.)
- Rock The Street, Wall Street (Offers a financial and investment literacy program designed to inspire a diverse population of high school girls to consider careers in finance.) Hack developed a student-facing mobile app to boost efficiency and strengthen engagement.
- Boys & Girls of Rutherford County (Offers a range of Academic Success programs for young people.) Hack digitized volunteer recruitment and management processes to save staff time, improve accuracy and allow better reporting on impact.
- PENCIL (Connects businesses with Metro Nashville Public Schools, making it easier for them to make a difference.) Hack automated communications and outreach using Salesforce to improve services and save staff time.
In addition to education nonprofits, Hack for the Community volunteers provided technology solutions for organizations in the healthcare, environment, arts and community sectors. A total of 14 local profits received new websites, apps and other systems, built by nearly 200 tech volunteers from 30 supporting business partners.
“Six years ago we all sat together in a room, working to solve for Nashville nonprofits,” said Joanne Pulles, HCA Healthcare’s vice president of community engagement. “Today, amid COVID-19, we were in hundreds of different places across this city in the safety of our own homes. Socially distanced and six feet apart, we’re still using our creativity, our innovation, our ingenuity to solve problems for Nashville’s nonprofits.”
Brian Moyer, president and CEO of Greater Nashville Technology Council, also extended his gratitude to the program volunteers.
“In Nashville, we have a history of coming together and collaborating to help our community and neighbors,” Moyer said. “I’m grateful to see our tech community come together again during this time of need to do what we do best for those organizations on the front lines who are helping our neighbors every day.”