Leader Newsletter 2021-06-18


Hey friends 👋

Matthew from Hack Club HQ here. This is the sixth edition of a semi-regular update I send to club leaders to keep you updated on what's happening behind the scenes (see the previous updates!). This is the final update of the school year, and my personal final update 👀

At 9:50am on December 18th, 2019, I finished my last final exam of high school (I graduated a semester early). At 9:55am, I called Max (who was helping run the clubs program at the time) to ask for a job at Hack Club.

In the past 1.5 years...

  • Workshops got a new philosophy: instead of 90-minute guided tutorials, they became 30-minute creative coding experiments that are endlessly hackable. 5 new workshops—based on some of my best club meetings—kicked this new era of workshops off.

  • I drove halfway across the United States, from New Haven, CT to Denver, CO, to visit Hack Club leaders in person & buy them dinner, right before the pandemic began.

  • We gave away $50,000 to Hack Clubbers in the form of hardware grants & launched Scrapbook for the Summer of Making. Over the last year, over 11,500 updates have been posted to Scrapbook.

  • In order to support online clubs during the 2020-2021 school year, we bought a Zoom Pro account for all of you, and later launched /z. Since then, Hack Clubbers have spent a combined 4.5 million minutes on Zoom.

  • We launched the Workshop Bounty Program, where we paid you $200 to submit workshops that you wrote for your clubs to become official Hack Club curriculum. By the end of 2020, you helped add 84 fantastic new workshops.

  • Dozens of you gave me your feedback on what would become Hack Club Meetings, a new website we launched in March to help you see what real Hack Club meetings look like & learn how to run the best ones in your own club.

  • We announced The Hacker Zephyr, a cross-country hackathon on a train from Burlington, VT to Los Angeles, CA, that 42 of you will be on this July.

As schools across the northern hemisphere end for the summer, so too does my gap year—today is my last day at Hack Club HQ. In a few days, I'm moving back to Indiana & taking a summer break before going to college. I CC'ed Leo, who's going to be leading the clubs program beginning this fall. I highly encourage all of you to get to know him. See his introduction post on Slack!

I hope you all have an incredible summer. For those of you who will be on the Zephyr, I'll see you in Burlington next month.

Tally-ho 👁 -Matthew

P.S. I'm not using any software to send this email—I'm literally just copy/pasting your emails into Gmail's BCC field. If you're a senior, this is the last email you'll receive from Hack Club; if you're not a senior and don't want to continue receiving these emails, just reply and let me know (I won't be mad!)

P.P.S. Check out the view from Hack Club HQ in Shelburne, VT today.

P.P.P.S. If you're looking for new music, check out what I wrote about Jai Paul in #music!

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