Mission Bit’s 7th Annual Gala Fundraiser: A night to remember
On the evening of November 9th, 2023, Mission Bit hosted its 7th Annual Gala Fundraiser at Gallery 308 in Fort Mason. This special event was a big success, bringing supporters, sponsors, and students together to celebrate the organization’s commitment to helping young people become future tech leaders.
Claire Reilly gets things started
The evening began with Claire Reilly as the host, making everyone feel welcome and excited. The renowned journalist, presenter, and tech commentator based locally in San Francisco brought an unparalleled blend of expertise and passion to our mission. She set the tone for a fantastic night, clarifying that this gala was more than just a fundraiser; it was a celebration of community and learning. Claire energized the crowd during the Fund-a-need and helped Mission Bit raise $118,840 of the $150,000 goal.
Jesse Farmer’s inspiring talk
One evening highlight was a speech by Jesse Farmer, our keynote speaker. Jesse, a successful tech entrepreneur and education advocate, talked about the importance of equal opportunities in the tech world. He spoke about his experience growing up in a small town and knowing no one else who was coding. He explained how having a network of people learning the same thing as you can be beneficial in the long run. His words inspired both young students and adults in the audience.
Guest favorites: Sushi and mashed potatoes
Guests enjoyed a delicious selection of food. A skilled sushi chef prepared tasty sushi rolls, and there was an open bar with a variety of drinks. For those who wanted a different kinds of comfort food, there was a mashed potato bar with various tasty toppings.
Student projects and inspiring speakers
One of the best parts of the gala was seeing the amazing work of Mission Bit’s students. Guests had a chance to check out the cool projects students made, like websites and Unity games. It was clear that these young minds worked hard and got creative.
The audience also heard from students who talked about their journeys in tech and what they learned.
Antonio shared his experience of feeling like an imposter in a field where most people don’t look like him. He said, “The pandemic opened my eyes regarding the reality of the digital divide. While I had my camera off so you couldn’t see my grandpa and his oxygen tank in the background, some of my classmates had private offices, dual monitors, printers, and tutors. I realized that we did not have the same starting point in the “race,” and it lit a fire in me to fight for equity in education.” Mission Bit created opportunities for Antonio to discover his passion for computer science and share that with others.
The value of Mission Bit goes beyond the technical skills students learn in the classroom. Antonio voiced his thoughts: “Programs like Mission Bit and Meta Summer Academy are helping re-design the tech world to reflect the society in which we live; to value a diverse set of inputs and ideas; to see things through various lenses.” Mission Bit is proud to serve students like Antonio and support underserved students in the Bay Area community.
Another student speaker, Vanessa, told the audience about her experience with the education system. She talked about almost dropping out of school and how Mission Bit helped her rediscover her love of learning. While in an Intro to Web Design class, she “felt empowered, surrounded by classmates with a passion for coding,” and gained “the inspiration to continue pursuing computer science, no longer as just a hobby, but as a career choice. “
Vanessa and Antonio’s stories showed how Mission Bit makes a big difference in students’ lives and why it’s important to keep supporting the program.
Exciting raffle prizes
The night got even more exciting with our Fund-a-need and a raffle with fantastic prizes. Lucky winners took home a signed Jonathan Kuminga Warriors jersey, a special Tesla experience, a bottle of fancy wine, and a tasting for four at Balletto Vineyards Tasting Room in Santa Rosa. We are incredibly grateful to the Warriors Community Foundation and Tesla for their generous donations.
A night to remember
As the clock hit 10 PM, Mission Bit’s 7th Annual Gala Fundraiser ended, leaving everyone with a strong sense of pride and inspiration. Together, Mission BIt raised $118,840 to continue to provide quality computer science programming to underrepresented students. This incredible event raised necessary money for the organization and showed the power of coming together as a community and helping young people enter the tech world. If you haven’t had the chance to donate yet, Mission Bit still needs help to raise $150,000. You can contribute to the fundraising goal at donate.missionbit.org.
Mission Bit’s mission is to help young people enter the tech industry, especially those who might have had few chances. This special event was more than just a party; it celebrated hope and progress. Here’s to more years of success for Mission Bit and the bright futures it helps create!