Kenny Alexis was one of Pearl Hacks 2016’s many male volunteers.

A student at Florida State University, Kenny rallied a bus-full of hackers from Florida to attend Pearl Hacks.

He first heard about Pearl Hacks through the Major League Hacking community and thought it was an important event to be involved in.

Kenny Alexis shows off his Hack FSU shirt at Pearl Hacks 2016.

“[Pearl Hacks] said if I could get a group together to come to Pearl Hacks, they’d provide a bus.”

At school, Kenny participates in Florida Hackers and Hack FSU.

He was proud of how Floridian hackers did at Pearl Hacks. “Half of the people who won Top Six Hacks were from Florida.”

For Kenny, it’s important to encourage his female peers to participate in hackathons.

“When I just look at computer science in general, I don’t see a lot of women,” he said. “I think many women feel like they are not welcome.”

The help of male volunteers is essential in the running of Pearl Hacks. With men volunteering, that frees up more women to participate as hackers.

Their involvement also sends an important message to the computer science world.

“It is very important to Pearl Hacks that we have guys involved because it means that they really care about supporting women in technology,” said Emily Newman, Pearl Hack’s co-executive director.

“It’s so important for girls to feel supported by their male colleagues and that’s part of our goal for the event. We had such an amazing turn out of guys to help and mentor and volunteer this year and it’s awesome. We want to create a community for everyone, not just girls. We love our boys!”


Check out more stories from Pearl Hacks:

Q&A with a female venture capitalist

Team Superwoman takes on Pearl Hacks


By | Samantha Harrington, Hannah Doksanksy and Hrisanthi Kroi