Our mission is to create inroads to innovative careers

for underserved youth in the St. Louis area.

Hack4Hope provides STEAM educational opportunities and events to help heal the social and economic divisions of St. Louis, thereby offering youth a gateway to success.

Our Goals

  • To further develop students’ cognitive abilities to rapidly engineer a problem-solving technology product
  • To provide students with mentorship from adult professsionals, guiding them with tangible pathways toward success
  • To involve students in an immersive high growth entrepreneurial process that both connects them to a strong STEAM foundation and prepares them to tell their story and articulate their experiences to a wide audience
  • To address problem-solving inclusive issues surrounding community relations specific to the St. Louis Metro Area
  • To offer pre-college experience with a lifelong impact

Who Are We?

Filmmaker and St. Louisan Nicole Franklin and a committee of dedicated community leaders invited local partners such as Education Exchange Corps and ITEN to launch the first youth Hackathon specifically for underserved communities in cooperation with coding courses and leadership training modules to boost their junior high and high school academic achievements.


Nicole Franklin

Founder / Visionary Wizard

Filmmaker.  Educator.  Writer.  Web Host.

Aimee Square

Aimee Krummenacher

Co-Founder / Lead Technologist

Technology Professional in project and process management, small business development, and Human Resources.


Linh Nguyen

Co-Lead Parter, ITEN / Operations

 Lead for ITEN’s Inclusion Initiative to engage under-represented groups in the St. Louis area with technology-related entrepreneur resources.


Elad Gross

Co-Lead Partner, Education Exchange / Lead Educationalist

Founded Education Exchange in 2008 and has been working with youth in the St. Louis.


Catherine Trau


Media professional specializing in the business and technology of production. Currently working on graduate studies in Learning Design and Technology at SDSU, focusing on development of transmedia educational design.

Why We Do It

We want to make sure St. Louis-area youth in low-opportunity communities engage and prepare for these college and career opportunities with early-access and immersive opportunities like our hackathon and companion coding and leadership courses.

Currently, a strong pipeline to opportunity for isolated youth in St. Louis, its counties, and surrounding suburbs has not addressed the majority of teens who are economically disenfranchised and politically marginalized. With Hack4Hope, students open to early engagement toward a STEAM curriculum and adults in search of a connection with the future of St. Louis are connected, focused and sharing resources.

Hack4Hope is an exciting summer option where youth with little to no previous experience or goals engineer their own promising and profitable careers through technology.

Providing Unique Opportunities

Through the launch of our particular Hackathon and companion Hack4Hope Academy, the youth of St. Louis will unite with adult developers and innovators from different corners of the city across cultures. In collaboration with local community partners, the momentum of this event will continue with programs and initiatives that will tap post-hackathon excitement and form a new community of innovation in St. Louis. Join us this summer as we build gateways to opportunity.

STEAM is an initiative to add Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research in America. … The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.
— Rhode Island School of Design

A big reason America is falling behind other countries in science and math is that we have effectively written off a huge chunk of our population as uninterested in those fields or incapable of succeeding in them.

— “Missing From Science Class Too Few Girls and Minorities Study Tech Subjects,” New York Times Editorial, Dec. 10, 2013