Our 2020 in Review

Posted Oct 27, 2020 by Megan Cui & Mingjie Jiang

So, the story continues…

First and foremost, we hope you and your family are doing well and are safe. To say that 2020 has been chaotic would be an understatement, and we are wishing everyone the absolute best as the school year continues. As we reflect over the past few months, we’re so incredibly thankful for your continued support, and we just wanted to share what we’ve been working on.

New: Officially Independent

We recently made the difficult decision to leave Hack Club Bank and form our own nonprofit entity. Hack Club Bank served as a critical launchpad for us to ship our programs without worries about operational overhead, but as we’ve expanded, we’ve realized the importance of having complete financial and legal autonomy over our operations to maximize efficiency and reduce uncertainty.

Though we have moved out of Hack Club Bank, we have nothing but positive regard for it. It made it possible for the two of us to focus on developing innovative programming, as opposed to worrying about the government shenanigans often needed to incorporate and become a registered nonprofit. For any students who want to start an initiative that are considering going through the formal nonprofit formation process, we strongly recommend Hack Club Bank as an initial launch point to work on programming before sinking money into the expensive bureaucratic process.

A separate journal about how we prepared for the transition will be posted soon!

New: Event Diversity Research

COVID-19 limited the scope of our programs and impact, but we didn’t want that to stop us in our tracks completely.

In April, we decided to launch a research project studying the participation of underrepresented minorities (focusing on women and students of color) in STEM events in an effort to develop tangible proposals on improving diversity in STEM. As a part of this project, we’re working on developing the first open-source data set on STEM event attendance.

Learn how you can contribute to our project: Research »

New: Commitment to Transparency

We’ve always believed in the power of transparency – after all, we believe a well-run non-profit should not be afraid to share its progress with the public. Execute Big is and will remain committed to making sure that we stay as transparent as possible with our operations.

While the global pandemic has halted our operations, it has left us with the time to build out additional infrastructure around Execute Big in order to make it transparent to you. Most of these tools are already live, so it’s easy for you to learn about what’s poppin' here at Execute Big, and the task of releasing information as it becomes available will also be quick and easy.

Our new website includes a whole section dedicated to explaining and detailing our commitment to transparency:

  • Analytics: Every bit of data we collect from our website visitors is transparent, and we only collect what’s necessary anonymously for insights and improvements.
  • Finances: Every cent going in and out of our bank account is completely public (with personal information redacted). You’re able to see exactly what we have been using your gifts for.
  • Codebase: Every line of code that we write is public. You can always inspect, improve, or reuse our projects under their respective licenses.

Update: Rebranding

If you visit executebig.org, you’ll notice that we’ve done a massive overhaul of the website. This was primarily to implement our new branding kit (most noticeably, a different font) as well as to make it easier for website maintenance in the future. Our original website was slow to load and convoluted to maintain, so we’re excited about the upgraded website.

Learn more about our new branding: Branding »

Update: Personal Progress

Megan is currently on a leave of absence from Harvard and has moved out for the semester to the Bay Area. She’s working on corporate and fund development at Malala Fund and at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Mingjie is currently attending UC Berkeley as a first-year student from home in Maryland. He’s continuing his work on developing curricula & building partnerships for CodeLabs, a virtual internship program created by CodeDay.

Moving on…

We’re excited to move forward with our work, and we’re even more excited to have your support. As always, reach out to us at team@executebig.org if you ever have questions or even just want to talk. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again once events resume!

Megan Signature Mingjie Signature

Megan Cui & Mingjie Jiang
Co-founders, Execute Big

About Execute Big

Execute Big is a minimal & transparent student-run organization founded to remove barriers to entry into technology for all students to experience and explore computer science education.

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