A Letter From The CEO

Dear Hackers, 

Congratulations on being selected for the MLH Top 50 Class of 2021! You were all nominated by a community of your peers and selected as a result of your hard work, dedication, and passion. The MLH Top 50 is an initiative that our team set out on last year in order to spotlight the unique stories and meaningful contributions of hackers within our community. 

Being a part of the MLH Top 50 means you’ve done something you can truly be proud of: You showed up for yourself and your community in the face of uncertainty. You put yourself out there and learned new skills, even though it may have intimidated you. You brought together a community of strangers and made connections that will have a lasting impact on your career. You paved your own path and your stories inspired us. In fact, it is hackers just like you that are the reason why MLH exists and why we do what we do every single day. 

When I was in university, I attended a hackathon and it changed my life. I course-corrected my life and decided to pursue a career in tech rather than law. Three years later, Jon and I started Major League Hacking (MLH) with the intention of creating life-changing moments and opportunities for the next generation of technologists.

If there was one word I could use to describe this year’s group of Top 50 hackers it would be: inclusive. Whether that means helping to make tech education more accessible, organizing events for marginalized groups, or paving an aspirational path for others, you have truly made an impact. This group had a hunger for building connections, making change in their communities, and challenging themselves to pursue paths they previously didn’t know existed. 

Here’s a small sampling of what some of our hackers had to say about their experience with MLH: 

“MLH helped me understand that coding wasn't just for coders, but for those with a hunger for innovation and the heart to make a difference." - Jarrel Thomas

I wanted to be an engineer but the industry has notoriously struggled with both gender equality and LGBTQIA+ acceptance. Ironically, it was that same technology community that helped break me out of my shell and encouraged me to be myself, especially at the female-centric MLH hackathons where so many women - both cis and trans - work passionately towards creating projects dedicated to promoting gender diversity.” - Emily Nguyen

“Discovering MLH was like finding an Aladdin's Lamp, and I'm truly grateful for the roads they paved for me! MLH helped me hone my technical skills as well as other crucial soft skills and introduced me to some remarkably inspiring people in the hacker community who have become my good friends and mentors. MLH hackathons helped boost my confidence and allowed me to set bigger goals for myself.” - Ebtesam Al-Haque 

I’ve only been with MLH for 6 months, but no doubt, I felt a part of the community within my first 6 minutes. Working with MLH has empowered me to focus on aspects of myself beyond project building. MLH has proven to me that the hacking community is as diverse as the world and welcoming to all! MLH has given me the representation needed to feel confident in my technical abilities and grow farther in my career!” - Mara Hart

We are so grateful for each and every one of these stories, and our hope is that they can inspire others. 

As you all know, MLH’s mission is to empower hackers by providing them with resources, opportunities, and community. We want to be there for hackers every step of the way in their career. From attending your first hackathon to applying for your first job, we are there for you - in fact, we want you to think of us as your cheerleader, rooting for you at every milestone. We truly believe that the hackers in this community are writing the future today.

If the past year and our hackers have taught us anything it’s that at the end of the day, people are what matter. And no matter how bad it gets, people are all we’ve got. Your adaptability and resilience has been truly inspiring to witness.

Congratulations once again to all of this year’s class and thank you to all of the community members who nominated those who inspire them. We could not be more proud of the journeys we learned of this year and we hope you are as excited by your future as we are. I look forward to helping share more stories like these in the coming year.

Happy hacking,


Happy Hacking,

CEO, Major League Hacking (MLH)

Fun Facts
18% of the Top 50 hackers started clubs and communities at their universities and local areas to help empower hackers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is MLH?

Major League Hacking is the official student hackathon league. Each year, we power nearly 2,000 invention competitions that inspire innovation, cultivate communities and teach computer science skills to more than 100,000 students around the world. MLH is an engaged and passionate maker community, consisting of the next generation of technology leaders and entrepreneurs.

What is a hacker?

A hacker is anyone who has an interest in technology, who attends hackathons, and has in their own time, learned and built projects and inventions. You don’t have to be a programmer and you certainly don’t have to be majoring in Computer Science.

How were the MLH Top 50 hackers chosen?

The MLH Top 50 hackers of 2020 were nominated by community members such as yourself. After being reviewed by the MLH Team, we selected a small sample of stories we felt would inspire our community. This could’ve been because of a cool project they made, an event they organized, a club they created, or the impact they had on other hackers.

How can I be considered for next year's MLH Top 50 hackers list?

Our next nomination cycle will open up later this year. If you are interested in being considered for our next group of MLH Top 50 hackers, read the instructions on this page.

How can I contact these hackers?

Many of the hackers are currently looking for jobs & internships. If you are interested in having one of these amazing hackers in your organization, you can email us with the name of the hacker(s) you would like an introduction to and we can help with next steps.

Can my company offer some benefit to the Top 50?

Yes! The MLH Top 50 are hackers at heart who love to build things and make a positive impact on the world around them. We'd love your company's help rewarding them for all the amazing work they did last year. This could be in the form of a discount, freebie, special offer, or anythig else you come up with. If you're interest, just drop us an email and we'll work through the details.