Jukay Hsu and the Coaltion for Queens are currently accepting applications for C4Q's Access Code program, designed to teach coding to its students and help them get jobs in the field.
"I really believe in the problem that we are trying to solve, in terms of how to increase access to technology so that everyone can fully participate," Hsu said.
You don't have to spend much time with Jukay Hsu to understand that he is a young leader in a hurry, running the tech nonprofit that he founded in 2011, serving on numerous civic boards, increasingly a go-to guy in his home borough of Queens and throughout New York.
"It doesn't seem like work cause these are all things I'm really interested in," Hsu said. "And hopefully can contribute to. So I don't really see a separation from work and my life."
Hsu is a Queens guy through and through.
He was raised in Flushing, attended Harvard, served in Iraq in 2008 and 2009, earning a Bronze Star, and then returned to make Long Island City his home base both personally and professionally.
The location plays a major role in Hsu's core belief.
"I think Long Island City can really be a hub for New York City and be a model nationally for what an inclusive tech community looks like.
"Queens, also it's the most diverse county in America. The borough of immigrants, how can we create a technology community that’s both innovative and thriving but also representative of everyone in our community?"
To that end, Hsu founded and has built Coalition for Queens, known as C4Q, into a tech feeder.
At its core is 'Access Code,' an intense 10-month program in tech training intended for those who have found the doors to the tech world closed.
In 2015, there were some 1,200 applicants for sixty slots.
Half of the graduates were from Queens.
"Look at western Queens there's a lot of transformation here in terms of the neighborhood," Hsu said. "We also have the largest public housing in north America with Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria Houses. How can we include more people in this process and create pathways out of poverty?"
Hsu was initially inspired by an announcement by Mayor Bloomberg made in 2011.
"My first week back in New York, Mayor Bloomberg at the time announced that he wanted to create a new technology campus that would anchor and catalyze growth in New York and I was just like fascinated and really inspired by that."
"I thought before I start my civic tech company, why not try to think about why Queens would be a great place for this campus? And how can we create a diverse and inclusive tech community?"
Eventually Cornell University won the bid and Roosevelt Island was chosen as the site.
Hsu was hooked.
He started talking up his idea at community meetings.
"People were like what is this technology thing necessarily? how does Cornell have anything to do with this? Is this really gonna happen? And I think it's just changed so much in these last 4 or 5 years."
Now his funders and partners include the Robin Hood Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
C4Q is a bold pursuit. For many, it would be enough. Not for Hsu. He's also served on the Mayor's transition team. He's a trustee of the Queens library and serves on the New York City water board.
And Hsu is on the inaugural board for the BQX — the proposed streetcar that would connect the Brooklyn Queens waterfront from Astoria to Sunset Park.
Critics question the $2.5 billion price tag, and how much the streetcar will actually help longtime residents as opposed to newcomers.
Hsu believes BQX can benefit both.
"I think it's a phenomenal project not only for current and future tech workers but also linking up all these communities underserved by transportation right now," Hsu said. "I think the poorest communities in New York have least access to transportation so that they can get to jobs or other resources."
So who is this guy from Flushing who's amassed such an impressive resume in such a short amount of time?
Jukay Hsu was born in Taiwan.
His parents came here for graduate school, his father in computer science, his mother in social work.
They divorced while Hsu was still young.
"I spent my childhood living with my father for a while and my mother for a while," Hsu said. "I had great relationships with both. My mom is pretty chill. I think obviously education is really important."
Hsu attended Stuyvesant High School.
On 9/11, he was student body president and had to flee with his fellow students after the attacks on the nearby World Trade Center.
School started up less than a month later at Brooklyn Tech.
His education that year extended far beyond the classroom.
"I think there is a special bond within my class and the classes that were there in the school at the time to kind of experience that," Hsu said. "To go to Brooklyn Tech and come back. It's amazing how to see resilient everyone was."
But the life of a senior in high school went on.
"Many of us, to be honest, I think at least for me were thinking about how to get to college. How do we try to move on with our daily lives. Even if we were involved in some of the things post 9/11. I don't think it's not something I really dwelled on personally."
The journey from Stuyvesant to Harvard is a path often taken.
Not so Hsu's next move — from Harvard to the Army.
"That was a very not necessarily a popular decision with my parents and with my family," Hsu said.
"The opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and be exposed to that was actually what was appealing to me about the military," Hsu said.
Hsu served as a U.S. Army officer commanding a rifle platoon in Iraq, and was then asked to help in the area of economic development.
He is generally reticent to talk about his Iraq experience.
"I don't think it's anything extraordinary necessarily. So many people have served in the military, have had their own experiences, have done so much more. and it makes it seem that I'm trying to, I don't know, talking about it emphasizing it just seems strange to me," Hsu said.
But Hsu is able to draw a line between his military experience and his current passion opening the doors of the tech world to all.
"Most people in the military have never gone to college, right? Your average soldier has never gone to college. But is exceptionally smart, hard working. There's a wide range of folks. And I think seeing that instead of just thinking about that is something that was really impactful," Hsu said.
While his passion may make him sound like a politician, he says he has no interest in politics.
Jukay Hsu has already packed a lot into 31 years.
And he has a clear vision for what the future should look like in his Queens: lots of new tech workers and companies, its doors open to every New Yorker.
"I don't really think of it as doing something that's for other people or the good. Often times its interesting problems that I think need to be solved and I want to help contribute to that."