Kenneth Morales, 28

Hacker, Organizer
Kenneth Morales
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Driven by a desire to do more than attend classes, Kenneth started searching for something where he could put his learning to good use. He found the MLH website and after some research, realized it was exactly what he was looking for. Not only an opportunity to test his skills but a chance to learn additional skills from others. Even though it was the end of the season, he found Hack@CEWIT online. He packed his bags and dragged three of his friends into the car where they proceeded to drive the 5 hours down to New York for a weekend. 

Since his very first hackathon, his life changed so much that afterward, he and his team travel across the US to compete in other hackathons most weekends. They have made great connections with companies who have even traveled to their school to give additional lessons or offer internships to their classmates. Along the way, they have made some amazing friends from all over the world, traded knowledge and skills that without hackathons, he would have never obtained. Most importantly through MLH, they have brought recognition to their school’s engineering programs.

Kenneth believes hackathons have an immense impact on his career as well. He recently landed his dream job as a senior associate cyber analyst and he hasn’t even graduated yet. While most of his skills were learned in class or on his own, all his interviewers could only seem to talk about hackathons and his projects from them. They were blown away by his dedication to the events and are interested in him creating a team within the company who would be sent to represent them. This blew him away as he has eight years of prior military experience before starting college and it was barely discussed.

Not only did Kenneth attend hackathons but he started the school club Hack JWU and he currently acts as the president. Since CEWIT, he noticed how other schools would travel long distances and in great numbers to attend. He wanted to help his peers attend events outside their area so they too could grow outside the classroom. Starting with four members, they have now grown into a club 50 strong. Out of his own pocket, Kenneth has funded the club with everything from travel to building a cyber range in one of their school labs so that his peers may practice around the clock.

His favorite project to this date has to be Sekhmet Overwatch. Kenneth and his team decided that their focus should be to help others whose jobs are to help the general public. The most notable group of people that they wanted to assist were first responders, more specifically firefighters. In doing some research, they discovered that firefighters have one of the highest mortality rates amongst first responders. The main thing they were able to deduce was that despite the advancement of technology, firefighters have a lot of out of date gear. The idea was to build a new Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) alarm for firefighters to use instead of the blaring alarm that they currently have. 

The first thing that they wanted to change all together was the blaring alarm. The PASS alarm is the system used to notify a team if a firefighter is down or needs assistance, it begins to ring incessantly. It was 2018 and he felt these men and women deserved better than just a sound if they were in need of assistance. They figured that they could use a node network of devices to replace the PASS alarms to keep track of each firefighter’s location and oxygen level and if they require assistance or not. Their location and status would be redirected back to the commanding officer on the scene in real-time. This could save numerous lives on the scene of a fire, or other disasters.

When they presented their project at YHACK 2018, judges were blown away by it and were impressed by how much research went into it; even the local fire marshal and chief were called to come to see it. Every question or scenario that was thrown their way had already been planned for and answered because they had talked to so many firefighters prior. FireRescue1 even reached out after and wrote a story on what they had done.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
School: Johnson & Wales University
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: Hack@CEWIT (February 2018)
Favorite Coding Language: Python
Can't Live Without: Virustotal.com
Kenneth's project to improve the PASS alert for firefighters

Kenneth Morales, 28

Hacker, Organizer
Kenneth Morales
Share this profile

Driven by a desire to do more than attend classes, Kenneth started searching for something where he could put his learning to good use. He found the MLH website and after some research, realized it was exactly what he was looking for. Not only an opportunity to test his skills but a chance to learn additional skills from others. Even though it was the end of the season, he found Hack@CEWIT online. He packed his bags and dragged three of his friends into the car where they proceeded to drive the 5 hours down to New York for a weekend. 

Since his very first hackathon, his life changed so much that afterward, he and his team travel across the US to compete in other hackathons most weekends. They have made great connections with companies who have even traveled to their school to give additional lessons or offer internships to their classmates. Along the way, they have made some amazing friends from all over the world, traded knowledge and skills that without hackathons, he would have never obtained. Most importantly through MLH, they have brought recognition to their school’s engineering programs.

Kenneth believes hackathons have an immense impact on his career as well. He recently landed his dream job as a senior associate cyber analyst and he hasn’t even graduated yet. While most of his skills were learned in class or on his own, all his interviewers could only seem to talk about hackathons and his projects from them. They were blown away by his dedication to the events and are interested in him creating a team within the company who would be sent to represent them. This blew him away as he has eight years of prior military experience before starting college and it was barely discussed.

Not only did Kenneth attend hackathons but he started the school club Hack JWU and he currently acts as the president. Since CEWIT, he noticed how other schools would travel long distances and in great numbers to attend. He wanted to help his peers attend events outside their area so they too could grow outside the classroom. Starting with four members, they have now grown into a club 50 strong. Out of his own pocket, Kenneth has funded the club with everything from travel to building a cyber range in one of their school labs so that his peers may practice around the clock.

His favorite project to this date has to be Sekhmet Overwatch. Kenneth and his team decided that their focus should be to help others whose jobs are to help the general public. The most notable group of people that they wanted to assist were first responders, more specifically firefighters. In doing some research, they discovered that firefighters have one of the highest mortality rates amongst first responders. The main thing they were able to deduce was that despite the advancement of technology, firefighters have a lot of out of date gear. The idea was to build a new Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) alarm for firefighters to use instead of the blaring alarm that they currently have. 

The first thing that they wanted to change all together was the blaring alarm. The PASS alarm is the system used to notify a team if a firefighter is down or needs assistance, it begins to ring incessantly. It was 2018 and he felt these men and women deserved better than just a sound if they were in need of assistance. They figured that they could use a node network of devices to replace the PASS alarms to keep track of each firefighter’s location and oxygen level and if they require assistance or not. Their location and status would be redirected back to the commanding officer on the scene in real-time. This could save numerous lives on the scene of a fire, or other disasters.

When they presented their project at YHACK 2018, judges were blown away by it and were impressed by how much research went into it; even the local fire marshal and chief were called to come to see it. Every question or scenario that was thrown their way had already been planned for and answered because they had talked to so many firefighters prior. FireRescue1 even reached out after and wrote a story on what they had done.

Quick Facts

Pronouns: He/Him
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
School: Johnson & Wales University
Graduation Date: 2020
First Hackathon: Hack@CEWIT (February 2018)
Favorite Coding Language: Python
Can't Live Without: Virustotal.com
Share this profile
Kenneth's project to improve the PASS alert for firefighters

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