Students at St. Lawrence College (SLC) are holding a social hackathon to benefit Brockville charity, Homeward Bound Brockville, which supports mother-led families to earn college diplomas, start careers, and achieve economic self-sufficiency. The hackathon will take place Tuesday, November 6, from 2 pm to 10 pm at the Kingston campus.
Teams of Advertising and Marketing Communications (AMC) students will put their team building, creativity, and problem-solving skills to the test to help Homeward Bound Brockville design a communications and marketing strategy to promote and increase donations to their scholarship fund.
“The social hackathon is a unique way for us to use our creativity in a challenging and innovative way, said Taetum Roseberry, a participating third-year student. “This is an amazing opportunity for us to help a local organization in need; I’m looking forward to seeing how we can help Homeward Bound Brockville.”
According to Kathy Patterson, who teaches in the AMC program, social hackathons are similar to classic computer hacking marathons, but instead of tech challenges, they aim to solve social problems. “In essence, students work for an extended period of time in a ‘design sprint’ on a focused client problem and compete to present the best solution,” she said.
During the hackathon, students will be briefed and conduct interviews with the client. They will then work in teams for about five hours, coached by faculty through a process of problem solving, culminating in a round of presentations in the final hour. The winning team wins a certificate and prize, funded by the college. The client receives the final work and ideas from each of the teams and can choose to use their marketing communications tactical solutions, possibly retaining a student to execute the plan.
“As part of our commitment to the women in our program, we are seeking to raise scholarship funds to help offset educational costs of attending St. Lawrence College in Brockville,” said Sue Watts, Executive Director, Employment and Education Centre. “Homeward Bound Brockville has enormous potential to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and change the trajectory of life for an entire family. I look forward to seeing the students’ ideas in developing a marketing and communication plan to help us promote the scholarship fund development campaign.”
About Homeward Bound Brockville
An integrated, innovative wrap-around model of support to help mother-led families earn college diplomas, start careers and achieve economic self-sufficiency. They are currently facilitating the third cohort of Homeward Bound Women. Past success includes 12 women earning their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, 13 women accepted to St. Lawrence College, seven women have gained full or part-time employment.