On August 17th, ColorStack kicked off its second annual Stacked Up Summit for Black and Latinx computer science students pursuing careers in the tech industry. Aside from providing invaluable career, networking, and skill building opportunities, the event is notable in that it broke records for the organization. Nearly tripling last year’s attendance, the summit boasted 1,702 attendees with NPS values of 86 and 74 for students and sponsors respectively. This shows that while the event hosted a larger volume of attendees than ever before, it has maintained and even increased the quality of its programming since last year.
The agenda for the free, three-day, virtual event featured a star studded lineup for keynote speakers ranging from CodeSignal’s co-founder and CEO, Tigran Sloyan, to Amanda Seales of HBO’s Insecure. Though the speakers were highly successful in their own right and came from a variety of different backgrounds, it was notable that across the board, each brought a sense of honesty and authenticity. The overarching message across these keynote addresses was for Black and Latinx students to maintain their sense of individuality as they pursue careers in the industry.
Each day was kicked off by comedian and summit emcee Michelladonna who ensured that attendees started the day on the right foot––with laughter and energy. Then, the summit transitioned to a variety of career development sessions, technical workshops, and diversity and inclusion seminars hosted by the Stacked Up Summit’s 26 corporate sponsors. Students directly applied the skills they learned during these sessions to recruiting fairs with these same partners. Between career oriented events, students had the option of attending wellness breaks hosted by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. These events gave students the opportunity to take a step back from the stress of tech recruiting, to breathe, dance, draw, and even listen to poetry. To top things off, the Stacked Up Summit featured over $10,000 in prizes and giveaways from LeetCode memberships to AfroTech Conference tickets.
Since the close of the summit, ColorStack has seen a distinct influx in the number of membership sign ups, sending a very clear message: Black and Latinx students find value in the organization’s community, resources, and vision. The ColorStack team is already hard at work to ensure that it maintains the tremendous growth it has seen within the past year into 2023.