Join me on a personal journey, as I discuss what its like to grow an 8K large online community aimed at closing the gender gap in hackathons, losing my identity, dropping out of college for a semester, and building a personal platform for myself and interests. I will also discuss practical tips on effective self-advocacy, common hurdles I watch 8 thousand peers go through, and the importance of signal boosting. Too often, cool people who build even cooler things either never share their projects or get ignored after doing so. The goal of this talk is to help you build your courage to share your interests and how to effectively gain the attention of those interested in the same things. Advocate for yourself and consequently build a platform to signal boost others!