Posted March 9, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Photo

[PROFILE] In 25 Words or Less: Kalimah Priforce (Education: Tech)

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headshot-kalimah priforce-groupCredit: Johnathon Henninger

Bay Area Personalities • Key Influencers • Arts, Community and Business Leaders • Industry Experts. What makes them tick? Find out . . .
In 25 Words or Less

Updated: March 9, 2016


Editor’s Note: “Priforce” was selected for theREGISTRYBayArea’s “2015 40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” list. A natural trailblazer, Qeyno Labs (see below) is widely recognized as a tech/STEAM leader through their development of Hackathon Academy, merging entrepreneurial vision with community collaboration.

Name: Kalimah Priforce • Nickname: Priforce
Age: 30s • Status: Single • Kids: No
Place of Birth: Miami, FL • Raised: Brooklyn, NY
Professional Background: Kalimah Priforce is just a kid from Brooklyn, an education futurist, hacktivist, White House Champion of Change, and Headmaster CEO of Qeyno Labs an inclusive innovation school that accelerates college and career opportunities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Design, and Mathematics) for low opportunity youth.
What achievement or position are you most known for? Mr. Hackathon
Contact/Follow: WebsiteEmailFacebookLinkedInTwitterInstagram
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: Ballroom Instructor.
Field: Technology
Yrs of Experience: 24
Title: Headmaster CEO
Company/Organization: Qeyno Labs – Oakland, CA
What it does and what I do: Qeyno Labs is an inclusive innovation company and leading provider of futuristic learning experiences that create magical opportunity for youth, their families, and their community.
Current Big Project: Hackathon Academy, our flagship “popup school” that prepares high potential youth in low opportunity settings to become next generation developers, designers, and innovators in STEAM.
Staffing/Resource Needs: Launching the first My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon for Native Youth (Albuquerque, NM (April 22 – 24)) Needs: adult professionals as Developer, Designer, and Innovator mentors.
Additional Organizations: Echoing Green Fellow, StartingBloc Fellow, Hive Global Leader, Millennial Train Project, Bay Area Codes Cohort, Trueborn Guild, College Board Professional Fellow.
Significant Challenge: Deciding to NOT become a non-profit organization as a for-profit tech startup. Though we are fiscally sponsored by a non-profit, we are still a company.
Significant Mistake/Regret: Allowing others to be the “face” or spokesperson for our company. I realized I had the integrity and energy to lift Qeyno’s profile and message.
Significant Accomplishment: Launching the first Black Male Achievement Hackathon and first Startup Weekend in Oakland. We created a space for inclusive innovation where there wasn’t one.
Biggest Strength(s): Transforming adversity into a reservoir of positive energy.  Giving and getting trust. Understanding and putting kids first.  ADHD.
Biggest Weakness(es): Doing too much (my team helps me out with that one).  Brilliant women in high heels. Vegan desserts.
Career Advice: Following your dreams is difficult but rewarding. You may be broke, have to move locations, and change your identity, but do it with a team.
Significant Challenge: In 2000, my younger brother was shot and killed behind our childhood elementary school, inspiring me to accept the Bodhisattva path to transform children’s lives.
Significant Accomplishment: By 16, I started my first tech startup that primarily served low income neighborhoods and the elderly.
Life Advice: A child’s future should never be dictated by their zip code but is influenced by who and what they are exposed to.
Trait(s) most admired in others: Trust, Inclusion, Mindfuness.
Some causes/organizations I support: Kapor Center for Social Impact, Code2040, Telegraph Academy, Uptima, Black Girls Code, The Hidden Genius Project, Hack The Hood, Goodie Hack, Blue1647.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 20
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: Videos Games, Rowing, Biking, Poetry.
Some of my favorite local hangouts: Souley Vegan (Oakland), Billie’s Black & Uptown Juice Bar (Both in Harlem, New York).
Some of my favorite TV shows: Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Arrow.
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Johannesburg (South Africa), Perugia (Italy), Mumbai (India).
Place(s) I would like to visit: Bangkok (Thailand), Cairo (Egypt), Dublin (Ireland).
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): Fencing, Yoga, Ballroom Dancing.
Favorite Book(s): Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Journey to the West, Peter Pan, The Neverending Story.
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): Malcolm X, B.R. Ambedkar, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Mcleod Bethune, Madam Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart.
Something about me that may surprise you: Happily single, but look forward to having a wife and kids.
And Lastly…
I became a hacker at 8, when I held a hunger strike against my Brooklyn group home for books which drew Buddhist monks and nuns to tutor me to 14.
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