About HYPE

Hope for Youth, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that empowers girls of color to confidently pursue 21st century careers and opportunities in computing and technology. We offer programs that help girls of color gain technology skills and prepare to become future leaders; thereby establishing a pipeline of diverse talent for tech and tech-enabled careers.


Our Mission

To plug the leaky tech pipeline problem for women and girls of color by building a tech talent network through intentional exploration, education, and empowerment.


Our Vision

We aspire to achieve equitable representation of women of color in the tech industry.


Our Purpose

HYPE exists to inspire every girl to believe she can use her creativity, talent, and gifts to solve real-world problems and make valuable contributions in the world of technology.

Through our mission to plug the leaky tech pipeline we not only train talent, but we also support talent retention of women of color who currently make up the tech workforce. We provide women in STEM professionals with purposeful opportunities to join our network as guest speakers, career exposure hosts, and mentors.



Because over 50% of our high schools don't offer computer science courses


Fewer than 4% of Black women are taking the AP Computer Science exam


More than 50% of Black women leave the tech industry within the first 5 years

These statistics must change, and that is where HYPE comes in. HYPE is about more than just teaching girls how to code. We are providing hope, leaving a legacy, and doing our part to make sure that our future is better than our past.

HYPE empowers girls of color with technology skills

Meet The Founder


Kristina Smith-Newton

In 2015, less than 1 percent of all U.S. engineering bachelor's degrees went to African-American women. Of the 106,658 engineering bachelor's degrees awarded that year, 937 went to African-American women. In 2006 I received my bachelor's degree in computer engineering.

As a Black Woman who personally experienced doubt and isolation due to lack of representation, mentorship, and upward mobility opportunities; I am committed to changing the statistics for Black and Brown girls in STEAM pathways – and I’m committed to doing it now.

After 7 years working as a tech consultant for a major consulting firm, I chose to do something that many considered to be risky and even career-ending. In search of purpose and in response to my inner voice that consistently told me “there is something more for you”, I left my job with no plan B.

I spent nearly a year traveling the world, serving & supporting nonprofit organizations in various capacities, and in 2017, Hope for Youth, Inc (d/b/a HYPE) was launched. I discovered how tangible skills combined with a genuine desire to make an impact can result in something powerful, purposeful, and productive.

I believe that hope and opportunity are life-changing gifts that should be available to everyone.

I believe that access to education and skills needed for 21st century opportunities is a right, not a privilege.

I believe that our girls deserve role-models who let them know that they belong here and that they can impact the world for good.

I believe that representation truly does matter.

And I’m confident that HYPE will change the face of what a computer scientist looks like, empowering others to live lives full of hope, driven by love, and void of fear.

We inspire girls of color to believe they can make a difference in the world

Our Team

HYPE Night Headhshots

Jessica Ridgeway

Program & Operations Manager


Nasiyra McCorkle

Education Director


Brittini Victoria Barnes

Curriculum & Scholar Experience Manager


Emma Wimberley

Grants & Partnerships Manager

We provide women in STEM professionals with purposeful opportunities

Board of Directors

Kinetra Head Shot - Business

Kinetra Joseph

CDC Foundation, Integrated Marketing

& Communications Leader

Stefanie Slay Headshot 2

Stefanie Slay (Secretary)

Delta Airlines,

Senior HR Professional

Brian Waters Headshot

Brian Waters (Treasurer)

Inspire11, Data Architect/Data

Management Consultant


Richard Smyth

Traction on Demand,

Business Architect


Lavonya Jones

Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center,

Program Director - Minority Serving Institutions


Jasmine Ward

McKinsey & Company

Recruiting, Diversity & Inclusion

Jonette Jones Headshot2

Jonette Jones

Accenture Consulting,

Software Application Developer

Arabella Okwara Headshot2

Arabella Okwara

Alston & Bird,


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