The Equal Justice Society celebrates its 17th anniversary with an “Art + Youth” gala uplifting art as a vehicle for social justice and the youth and young adults as our torchbearers in the civil rights movement. The event is on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, starting at 6:00 p.m. in the Robertson Auditorium of the Mission Bay Conference Center, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco.
We’re thrilled to honor five exceptional individuals at our gala. This email highlights one of these fantastic honorees: George Hofstetter.
At the age of 13, George Hofstetter was in 8th grade and working as a sound technician and computer technical assistant at his local Church. George had also become a Muay Thai Amateur kickboxer at 12.
At 13 George was also invited to his first Hackathon and led his team to the finals, competing against Stanford University Master’s students. At that Hackathon George created a social network called “Connect the Dots”. The platform was designed to support African American Students attending predominately Caucasian private schools as they navigate experiences with institutionalized racism.
At the time George and his close friend Desmond had experiences with institutionalized racism in this area, as they were both attending private schools that were predominantly Caucasian. George’s app, coupled with his passion and drive, caught the attention of a local TV station, KQED, and they created a short documentary about George and his journey. George became so enthralled with computer science and coding after the first hackathon experience, that he then began teaching himself four programming languages. That same year, George was asked to work at a computer repair shop where he repaired computer hardware malfunctions and learned how to reclaim and retrofit computer hardware and mobile devices.
By the age of 15, George had moved onto a few more sports, horseback riding and Jiu-Jitsu. He also began working at a local hamburger restaurant as a part-time counter and utility person and continued attending highly competitive Hackathons powered by Qeyno Labs, and he continued learning more programming languages.
During George’s second Hackathon he developed an App called “Cop Stop”, the 21st century key to staying safe from police brutality. George consulted with social justice activists, civil rights attorneys, sociologists and police chiefs to gain their input. This was inspired by the murder of Trayvon Martin. George’s app and again his commitment to changing the world, gained national attention. George has been featured, on Yahoo News with Katie Couric, The Huffington Post, USA Today, various local radio and television networks, including the Golden State Warriors promotional public service announcements and his latest interview was with Black Enterprise.
George has also had the pleasure of speaking to various organizations, churches, educational institutions, police departments and more who have expressed interest in joining George’s effort.
Now at 17 years old, George has met with Megan Smith, the then Chief Technology Officer for the White House and an Assistant to President Obama, he has been a tech intern in the Mayor of Oakland’s Libby Schaaf’s office for two summers, he has placed in the county science fair with over 800 participants, spoken at Capital One’s annual Nextech conference at Capital One headquarters, he led his team as Head Programmer to receive best mechanical design at Cal Berkeley’s Engineering Departments highschool PiE robotics competition, received a scholarship to a tech summer camp at UCLA, piloted a program at Google called Shadow a Googler program where he learned the basics of Angular JS, created a project and presented his work to a board of Google Developers – the program has since launched and has proven successful.
George has also started his own tech company called George Hofstetter Technologies, Inc. (GHTI). George’s mission is to change the world’s perspective on race by using technology, and he is committed to doing the work to help make that happen.
Most recently George is hosting and co-producing a project that is sponsored by Capital One Dev Exchange, called UP to CODE vol. 1. UP to CODE is a free mobile curriculum for middle schoolers that is focused on eliminating the digital divide.
George’s dream is to attend UCLA and major in computer science and psychology. George wants other kids to know that they too can change the world’s perspective on race through innovating and not just consuming technology.