Apple in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund launched a program focused on creating a pipeline to Silicon Valley for HBCU students. Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources, is excited about the partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “HBCU’s have some of the most amazing talent. They have a rich legacy that impacts not only the past but the future. HBCU students have a level of perseverance that sets them apart and gives them grit and determination.”

Having received over 1600 applications, 33 gifted scholars were selected and are currently participating in the weeklong immersion portion of their internship. This process is geared towards teaching the scholars how to maneuver through Silicon Valley and experience coming face to face with executives. Bernee Long of TMCF stated that this weeklong exposure is going to prepare them and help them adapt to this different world. Other than meeting with Apple executives, students will also get the opportunity to learn Apple’s approach to design.

For students like Maurita Ament of Spelman College and Sakshyam Danal of Claflin University, this week is all about having the opportunity to be pushed out of their comfort zones and learn more about Apple as well as themselves. Maurita expressed how she is looking forward to the networking opportunities and expanding upon what her professors are teaching her at Spelman. Both students are hoping to use this experience as an opportunity to impact their communities.

Photo: John Lee
Photo: John Lee

Apple and TMCF agree that this program is geared towards having a long term impact on the HBCU scholars and know that this is only the beginning for the scholars. This program is committed to the success of the students and promises to continue to equip with the the tools they need to be successful.

For those HBCU students interested in participating in the next class of Apple scholars, TMCF’s Scott Lilly advises that students make sure they apply and keep up to date contact information in case there may be other opportunities the organization has to offer. He also lends invaluable advice for those of us who have already graduated from HBCU’s, “Continue to be successful. When other people look at HBCU grads we want them to see the success and to see that they produce results.”

Congratulations to the scholars as they complete the remainder of their immersion week and return back to their campuses before their internship begins this summer in Cupertino, California.

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