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Wisdom from a Mentor: Shanyn Silinski

Shanyn is a wife, mother to son Luke, farmer, painter, poet, and photographer. She attended our hackathon for the first time in 2019 as a mentor, where she offered valuable advice in support of various teams participating in the event. Mentors are professionals in the industry who volunteer their time to support the participants in their 'hack' by giving them advice, brainstorming ideas with them, and so much more. We have asked Shanyn a few questions regarding her experience, and would like to share them with you. Here is some wisdom from Shanyn!


My son, Luke, and I were invited by the organizers to attend the 2019 hackathon. I was a mentor to the ‘hackers’ and my son, 13 at the time, did a ‘hack’ with Megan Giddings, who is on the organizing committee for the 2020 hackathon. It was a great experience. I loved mentoring and talking with all the participants and getting to know the organizers and judges. It was really cool. We would love to be involved again, and plan on attending the 2020 hackathon!


As a mentor, my favourite part of the event was meeting the teams and watching them work. As a parent, my favourite part was seeing my gifted son find ‘his people’ and be so excited and engaged in his hack with his partner and do so well in that environment. He loved the entire process and has been making his hack a reality since.


I would recommend this event to anyone who loves ag, tech, and is wanting to be challenged! It is a great event to network and connect, and really work on a problem with real potential of creating solutions for the real world. It is inspiring and encouraging!

The most valuable lesson that can be learned from this event is that in this world, we can work together with fewer barriers and create amazing concepts together. Personally, I loved seeing people who are natural leaders learn to work for team consensus and seeing the quiet ones step into leadership roles. Large and small teams did incredibly well.


For anyone who isn’t sure whether they want to be a part of this event, my advice would be: just do it. Come with your ideas. Come with an open mind and a desire to be a part of the experience. It is something that will encourage, challenge, and help you grow. Don’t be afraid or shy – this is a great and safe place to grow!


This is the kind of experience that you walk away from having made new friends, tested new ideas and have found how innovations can be born and grow! The networking is amazing, and you are very well fed, encouraged, and have access to great mentors and leaders. This is a great experience for anyone!


- Shanyn Silinski, Carlson Ag


If you are interested in being a mentor at the 2020 hackathon, please contact us!

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